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Housing tweaks in final spatial plan

Opinion Piece

“Opportunities” Gisborne District Council sees with regard to future housing development, reported in the editorial of January 11, have changed somewhat in the finalised spatial plan adopted at the Sustainable Tairawhiti meeting on January 30.

Perhaps most interesting, the first such opportunity listed did not make the final plan: “Council can support developers by providing clearer direction and more certainty through rules and guidance in our Tairawhiti Resource Management Plan.”

Wainui residents opposed to reticulation and development will be most interested, though, to know that the opportunity of providing new and upgraded infrastructure to unlock more housing options now cites residential intensification of Wainui as well as Kaiti and the Taruheru Block. Councillor Andy Cranston questioned this addition and was told it was an aspirational plan and they needed to flag what could potentially happen.

Several words (in light italics) were added to these two opportunities:

“Making the best use of available land — including infill development, intensification and redevelopment of the city centre to support mixed use with open space and high quality medium density residential housing.”

“Long-term — the progressive redevelopment of the industrial area along Awapuni Road closest to the CBD will allow for the movement of industry out of the inner city area and provide additional residential land in a prime location.”

Promoting inner city living is included in a new opportunity to: “Activate our CBD by promoting walking and cycling, inner city living, repurposing heritage buildings, creating multi-use public spaces and developing a hospitality precinct.”

Another opportunity added to the plan is to: “Facilitate the development of papakainga, with a focus on providing aged care facilities for rural kaumatua and kohanga/kura education and care spaces for tamariki.”

Aspirations by 2050 include a new item: “Maori are significant developers in Te Tairawhiti — from active development of land to increase capacity for use, to sustainable models of living in their rohe. This is seen through the active revival of papakainga.”

The word “living” is replaced in italics in this aspiration: “Everyone is able to live in affordable, healthy and environmentally sustainable housing.” And this aspiration remains: “Housing development is enabled within the city's current footprint and provides for a range of residential options.”