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Kaipara Spatial Planning

The Key Urban Areas Spatial Plan provides a framework for how Kaipara’s main urban growth areas (Dargaville, Maungaturoto and Kaiwaka) are to develop over the next 30 years, helping to leverage growth and development opportunities associated with the overflow of the Auckland region’s growth and latent tourism potential. ARAL was the project and planning lead, in collaboration with Resilio Studio, who provided urban design, landscape design and engagement advice. The Spatial Plan enables sustainable development for the communities of Dargaville, Maungaturoto and Kaiwaka through spatial planning. ARAL adopted a holistic approach to enhance social, economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing for current and future residents. The Spatial Plan responds to rapid growth in the Kaipara District which has been observed in the past five years. It also responds to the increasing frequency of subdivisions at the urban periphery, which are difficult to integrate into the future urban form, and creating challenges for infrastructure capacity.

The Spatial Plan seeks to:

  • Demonstrate that there will be sufficient future development capacity for both housing and business to meet forecast demands and minimum housing targets

  • Balance social, economic, cultural and environmental drivers

  • Address the aspirations of KDC, partners and community for how growth should be accommodated

  • Provide a level of certainty for infrastructure providers, communities and potential developers while being flexible enough to respond to changing demand and circumstances

  • Assess the key constraints, challenges and opportunities for urban growth within Kaipara and the Northland region

  • Seek and consider the views of affected partners, stakeholders and communities

  • Develop options in a collaborative and cooperative manner


To properly understand Kaipara’s Key Urban Areas, the ARAL team conducted extensive engagement with members of each community, as well as with elected members. Mana whenua engagement was a crucial part of this process, with a hui held in Dargaville to support honest exchange with hapu/mana whenua. Youth were also targeted to gain a diverse understanding of the aspirations of the Kaipara population.

Despite the level of complexity of issues which faces Kaipara District, the ARAL planning team have managed to deliver direction and a tool for each of the rural settlements and wider district environments. This Spatial Plan along with the Mangawhai Spatial Plan and the Sub Regional Spatial will be key documents in guiding the Council in reviewing the Kaipara District Plan policies and zones for the three towns.


The Spatial Plan has been developed in consideration with the national and local planning frameworks. Extensive consideration was given to the outcomes and objectives of relevant National Policy Statements (NPSs), including The New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010, National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (amended 2017), National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity 2016 and in turn, the Northland Regional Policy Statement reflects the aforementioned NPSs.


The Spatial Plan was adopted by the Kaipara District Council in May 2020.

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