2019 First Taste Festival on Queen Street Richmond

The Tasman Environment Plan will guide what you can and can’t do in urban centres as well as how they grow. This will affect the look and feel, character, sustainability, and functionality of our towns and local centres.

When planning, we need to avoid urban development on highly productive land where other sensible options exist. We need to consider what makes each of our centres distinctive and how we look after and enhance that unique character, and cater for a diverse range of living, working, and recreational opportunities for people.

Snapshots from the District

Communities know best what makes their place special. Through the development of the Tasman Environment Plan we can help keep the things people like about their places.

Our District is growing

Tasman District has around 20 small towns and local centres spread across a mainly rural setting. We know from recent surveys that people value their towns and local centres for the shopping facilities and services that they offer. They’re also where most of us live. Around three-quarters of Tasman locals live in our various towns and centres.

The number of people living in these places is growing, however this population growth and change is uneven. Over the last 20 years, there has been rapid growth in Richmond, Brightwater, Wakefield, Mapua, Motueka, on the Waimea Plains, and at coastal places in Golden Bay including Pohara and Parapara. Some of our inland centres such as Tapawera, Takaka, Murchison, and Upper Moutere have experienced lower growth. The Nelson-Tasman Future Development Strategy sets out where our District will accommodate housing and business growth over the next 30 years, along with Nelson City.

People visit and move here because of our climate, environments, and lifestyle. Nelson City lies a few kilometres to the north east of the District and many residents of the District commute to work in industrial and commercial areas in Richmond and Nelson.

The ability for people to work remotely is changing our towns and centres. As a consequence, people increasingly can live where they choose and work remotely. Tourism and travel also bring change. For example, the Great Taste Trail is providing new business opportunities in many of the local centres through which the trail passes.

Tasman’s towns and local centres serve a range of purposes and perform different roles according to the size of the centre. We want to better understand how people use our centres and what they appreciate about them so we can plan for the future. For example, by expanding commercial zoned land if it's needed or by allowing for more housing closer to the town centre.

We need to consider the demands and opportunities created by the predicted future population growth. There will be challenges associated with development including the management of earthworks, but there will also be opportunities for innovation. The Tasman Environment Plan will be designed with new rules and policies that help look after our District for generations to come. It will provide for predicted growth by changing zones in future development areas so more people can live there and putting protections in place for the things that give our existing settlements their unique character. To do this, we need to hear what you value about our towns and local centres.

In this episode of the Tasman Environment Plan podcast, TDC Policy Planners Jacqui Deans and Mary Honey talk towns and local centres in the Tasman District.

Further resources

Find out more about this topic at the links below:

Nelson-Tasman Future Development Strategy (FDS)

The FDS is a high-level plan to determine how the Nelson City and Tasman District will accommodate the next 30 years of housing and business growth. It was adopted in July 2019 and shows where growth is to be located, and in what form, and what infrastructure will be needed to support that growth.

The FDS is complemented by an Intensification Action Plan that examines ways in which Council can enable intensification. The Action Plan sets out actions to achieve its recommendation that 40% of the capacity provided for housing to 2048 should be by ‘building up’, i.e. intensification.

The Tasman Environment Plan will help to facilitate the FDS and the Intensification Action Plan.