Broadly speaking papakāinga is a way of communal living for Māori families that nurture and provide for all forms of well-being. It is sometimes described as communal living on ancestral land.
Papakāinga is more than housing, and it doesn't have to only be on Māori land. Papakāinga can be developed in rural and urban contexts.
The current definition for Papakāinga within the Operative Waipā District Plan is:
Papakāinga development – means a comprehensive residential development for tāngata whenua residing in the Waipā District to provide residential accommodation for members of the iwi or hapū group, and also includes communal buildings and facilities (e.g. whare hauora [health centre], whakangahau [recreation]).
It is important to note that iwi and mana whenua in Waipā have their own explanations and expressions for the term ‘papakāinga’, however these expressions do not deviate from the broad definition outlined above.
2. Why is Council focusing on Papakāinga?
A papakāinga Plan Change has been on Council’s ‘to do’ list since 2018.
In mid-2022 Council, supported by the Iwi Consultative Committee, directed staff to prioritise draft Plan Change 23 – Papakāinga. This is because there are now greater community expectations, including expectations from mana whenua, to better enable Māori in Waipā to use their land for housing and cultural wellbeing.
3. Is papakāinga new for Waipā?
No, not all. Papakāinga is already allowed in the Waipā district in some areas. But changes are needed to the Waipā District Plan to meet expectations around the different categories of Māori land.
4. What is the purpose of Plan Change 23 - Papakāinga?
Our existing District Plan does not adequately recognise Māori land tenure (e.g. Māori Freehold). This is because our current District Plan rules do not reflect the different categories of Māori land; nor are the rules consistent with what’s happening elsewhere across New Zealand.
The existing rules constrain the use of those ancestral lands by tāngata whenua to maintain and advance their culture and traditions, as well as more easily enable their land to be used for housing and cultural wellbeing.
Plan Change 23 will seek to include provisions that will enable tāngata whenua in Waipā to access, utilise, manage and enjoy the resources on Māori land to meet their cultural wellbeing. This is likely to be done by introducing a Māori Purpose Zone.
5. What is a Māori Purpose Zone?
Māori Purpose Zones are already used by a number of councils, they are not new. They are areas zoned mainly for Māori cultural and development needs, including residential and commercial activities. While the zones would generally enable papakāinga in defined areas, in Waipā this has yet to be refined.
In Waipā, it is likely the introduction of a Māori Purpose Zone into the District Plan will replace the existing Section 13: Marae Development Zone.
6. What is the difference between a Māori Purpose Zone and a Marae Development Zone?
The Marae Development Zone as it exists in the Waipā District Plan is to enable development of marae and papakāinga and the potential for employment opportunities to be created in association with a marae.
It is intended that the Māori Purpose Zone has a similar purpose and will enable cultural, residential and commercial activities to provide for the social and cultural needs of iwi and mana whenua on Māori land in the Waipā district.
7. What is Māori land?
Under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993, there are legal definitions for Māori land. The definitions do not include lands returned via Treaty settlement.
Currently the Waipā District Plan does not have a definition for Māori land but the proposed Plan Change 23 will introduce a definition. We are proposing to include Māori Freehold land, Māori Customary land, Māori Reservation land, general land owned by Māori, and lands returned to Māori via treaty settlements or reconciliation processes.
8. Will the plan change affect all rural zoned land?
We do not anticipate all rural zoned land will be affected, but we do expect some consequential amendments to Rural Zone provisions as they currently relate to papakāinga.
9. Who is being consulted on Plan Change 23 - Papakāinga?
Engagement begins February 2023. We will be engaging with our Joint Management Agreement partners, Ngā Iwi Tōpū o Waipā, mana whenua, whenua Māori trusts, Iwi and hapū. Papakāinga will also be raised as part of our community engagement programme for Ahu Ake – Waipā Spatial Plan.
We will also be running open days toward mid-2023. There will be a further opportunity for feedback when the proposed Plan Change is notified in mid-2023.
10. When will we be able to build papakāinga?
The Waipā District Plan already allows papakāinga in some areas, however it does have limitations, for example it does not recognise Māori land tenure.
Plan Change 23 must follow the process set out in Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act. We anticipate that this process will take 18 months to complete.
11. Will the Plan Change provisions enable papakāinga to be built in an urban environment?
Yes. We are proposing that papakāinga can be developed in urban environments.
12. Will feedback provided to Ahu Ake be considered as part of this Plan Change process?
Yes. We are working closely with the Ahu Ake project team to ensure it is as easy as possible for people to have a say.
13. Will sites of significance to mana whenua be reviewed with this Plan Change?
No. Sites of significance will be reviewed as part of a separate plan change process.
14. What is the difference between Rural Residential development/subdivision and Papakāinga development?
Subdivision establishes one or more additional parcels of land that can be used, developed and disposed of independently. Rural-residential development/subdivision is assessed on a case-by-case basis but generally are no longer provided for. There are instances where they can still occur however the focus is on preserving productive land and avoiding rural fragmentation.
Papakāinga development are in most cases the establishment of housing units on a land-holding owned by Māori (Māori Land and/or General Land). However, subdivision can be proposed as part of papakāinga developments. Housing units, and partitions, are retained within the immediate whānau/family of the land-holding, and/or offered to wider whānau/family group (i.e hapū or iwi members).
Both papakāinga and general rural subdivision activities require resource consent to be located in the Rural Zone and are required to recognise the character and amenity, and productivity of soils, in the rural environment.
It is also important to note that under the National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Lands 2022, Waipā District Council is required to avoid future subdivision, and inappropriate use/development of highly productive lands unless certain criteria are met, with legislative exceptions for specified Māori land.
15. Is Waipā District Council paying for papakāinga developments to be built?
No. Council is not undertaking any Papakāinga development – we are just reviewing the rules in the District Plan to more easily enable these developments to occur. This Plan Change process is being undertaken as per the requirements of the Resource Management Act.
16. How will papakāinga developments be serviced?
Servicing of papakāinga developments will depend on the location. In the rural environment it is expected that on-site servicing for water, wastewater and stormwater will be required. Details on how these can be achieved are likely to be required as part of the consenting process (resource consent and/or building consent). Within an urban environment it is likely connections will be made to existing infrastructure, provided there is capacity within the network to service the development.