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Nelson City Council seeks public feedback on next stages of Draft Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan

Nelson City Council is looking for public feedback on three topics of the Draft Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan (the Draft Nelson Plan) – river flood hazards, the Airport Zone and airport noise, and Port Nelson noise management options. Council is seeking the public’s views on these issues until 19 October 2021.

The Draft Nelson Plan is designed to help guide the sustainable management of Nelson’s natural and built environments. It provides a framework for managing how Nelson grows and responds to changing pressures, and for managing the use of our natural environment, including the effects of natural hazards such as river flooding.

This is the latest round of engagement on the Draft Nelson Plan and follows a comprehensive phase of engagement in late 2020 that covered a range of subject matter, including residential, commercial and environmental topics.

When Council last engaged with the public about river flood hazards in 2017, approximately 5000 properties were affected. Council has updated its river flood hazard models and maps, following national direction and guidance from the Ministry for the Environment. The models also reflect new data from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Council is now seeking feedback on potential draft rules for managing risks for these areas and welcomes the views of affected property owners, and the general public.

The updated maps show the majority of the properties identified in 2017 are still considered to be at risk of river or stream flooding, although there are some changes to the areas shown on the 2017 maps. Increased rainfall intensity, longer timeframes, increased sea-level rise predictions and changes to flood protection works mean that some properties are no longer affected, while others are newly affected.

“It’s been four years since we last gave information to our community about the risk of flooding from rivers and we know it’s important to keep looking at our how our communities may be affected by flooding,” says Nelson Plan lead councillor, Brian McGurk.

“The updated flood maps take a long-term view, looking out over 100 years, to help make decisions that future-proof our communities. The new flood hazard mapping includes consideration of climate change impacts such as sea-level rise and increased rainfall intensity.”

The new maps show general river flood hazard areas, and ‘high risk’ areas where the water depth and velocity are higher. Different approaches for risk management are proposed to be applied to the different hazard areas.

The new flood hazard rules are just one part of how Council manages flood risks. Council also has an annual programme of works for river protection and stormwater networks.

As part of the engagement on the Draft Nelson Plan, Council is also looking for public feedback on the draft provisions for the Airport Zone and associated airport noise, and on options for managing Port noise. The Airport Zone covers all the airport land and is intended to enable the continued operations of Nelson Airport, while managing the potential issues regarding noise, and the wider environment.

The Port noise options recognise the regional significance of the Port and the ongoing need for the Port to operate, but acknowledges noise is an effect that must be managed. Four options have been developed for consideration and feedback. Stakeholders and property owners located around the Port are being asked for their feedback on the options.

Feedback is welcome until 19 October 2021.

You can provide feedback online at, by email to: or by letter to Nelson City Council Customer Service Centre, PO Box 645, 110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson.

More information, including maps, draft rules, reports, FAQs and technical information can be viewed online at:

Physical copies of the maps, frequently asked questions, and technical information are also available to view at Nelson’s public libraries and the Nelson City Council Customer Service Centre. If COVID-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions are still in place, visitors must observe physical distancing and register for contact tracing. There will be a maximum of six customers allowed in the Customer Service Centre at any one time. Masks will be mandatory, in line with central government advice for Alert Level 2.


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