Click to go to the interactive Reserve Finder website. Reserves Management Plan - Questions and Answers

This page contains questions and answers about the Porirua Reserves Management Plan and the online version of our interactive Reserve Finder website.

Table of Contents

Why a management plan?

The Reserves Act 1977 requires that management plans for reserves be prepared to provide a framework for future management decisions. This applies to all reserves except local purpose reserves.

It provides the community with certainty about the function and management of the reserve, and provides the Council with efficiency gains by not requiring public notification or ministerial consent for some routine matters. The ability to forego some public consultation and approvals recognises that the compatibility of an activity with the overall purpose of a reserve has already been addressed in the management plan.

What does the management plan cover?

Part One – Context

This section provides the context for the Plan and explains how it can be used.

Part Two – General Policies

Part Two contains the general policy guiding reserve management decision-making. It includes policy for different activities undertaken in reserves, by both Council and reserve users.

Section 1 – General Administration;

Section 2 – Engagement;

Section 3 – Heritage Management;

Section 4 – Reserve Asset Management;

Section 5 – Public Benefit and Enjoyment.

Part Three – Activity Categories

Part Three contains definitions and policy for the management of the different activity categories:

Section 6 – Allowed Activities;

Section 7 – Managed Activities;

Section 8 – Activities requiring Authorisation;

Section 9 – Unauthorised and Prohibited Activities.

Allowed Activities may be undertaken in reserves without formality. Managed Activities may be subject to bookings, fees or other procedures. Activities requiring authorisation must receive an Authorisation before they can occur, and are subject to the provisions of Part Four (Assessment). Unauthorised and Prohibited Activities are considered inappropriate in reserves.

Part Four – Assessment

This Part outlines the assessment criteria or principles that will be applied to applications for Authorisations.

Part Five – Reserve Information and Planned Outcomes

This part contains the detailed information about each reserve managed by Council, including legal descriptions, significant reserve values and uses as well as planned outcomes. Location maps and zone maps (for complex reserves) are provided.

What’s excluded from the plan?

The plan does not include details of asset management or service levels. Our earlier plans often contained detailed plans for developments or maintenance requirements. Since then Asset Management Plans have been prepared. These provide a complete and consistent approach to the long term planning of assets including forecasted population growth, the level of service expected by the customers, the condition of the asset, planned maintenance and replacement. So this plan does not repeat this information.

The plan does not contain detailed development plans for individual reserves. The reserve outcome statements in Part Five describe the results we want to achieve from our management and any development in each reserve – but not in detail. Before we do major upgrades to our reserves we prepare landscape and development plans, in consultation with the community. (For example, we worked with Plimmerton residents to design improvements to Karehana Park.) The Reserves Management plan refers to existing development plans, and sets out the principles that new development plans should follow.

The plan does not have timeframes for achieving outcomes. As discussed above, the timeframes for completing plans or projects depends on resourcing decisions made under other Council processes.

What is the difference between the Reserve Management Plan and the Reserve Bylaw?

A reserve management plan is an overall framework and outcomes for reserve planning and management. Bylaws are regulatory instruments that support the management plan by enabling enforcement of the policies.

The Reserves Bylaw Part 9 seeks to regulate people's behaviour in Porirua's reserves in accordance with the policies and principles in the Porirua City Reserves Management Plan.

The reserve management plan also provides guidance when making decision on other bylaw documents such as the Control of Dogs Bylaw and Liquor in Public Places Bylaw.

What reserves are covered by the management plan?

The plan covers all reserves in Porirua (except utility reserves, and reserves managed by GWRC or DOC). View Porirua City reserves on our Reserve Finder website.

All reserves administered by Council, except local purpose reserves, must be covered by an approved management plan.

Local purpose reserves and other land owned by Council may be included in a plan if Council wishes. Reserve management plans provide guidance for the management of local purpose reserves rather than any statutory obligations.

The management of unclassified reserves can be guided by the plan, but the plan is not legally binding for such reserves.

How to find a reserve in the Reserve Finder

You can find information and outcomes for reserves by using one of two search options:

  • on the Reserve Finder - by suburb, village, scale, primary purpose of reserve, District Plan zone, or Reserve Act classification;
  • on the Reserves A-Z - listing each reserve in alphabetical order.

In the interactive map you can simply zoom and click on a reserve to get the information about it.

Check our "How to read the Reserves Descriptions" web page to find out what information is provided about each reserve.

How to navigate around the General Policies and Bylaw website

The Policies and Bylaw section of the Reserve Finder website are in a "book" format. You can expand and collapse the pages from the left hand navigation menu, or go forward/back through the pages.

The Contents button sends you to the table of contents at the bottom of the page which you can use to navigate by clicking on sections (or clauses). When you view the document by sections, you can also navigate forward or back using the Previous and Next links.

The Footnotes button sends you to the Footnotes if available on any policy page.

The entire document is printable if you are located on the Foreword page, or you can print any page or subsection using the "Printer-friendly version" link.

You can also send any page by email to a friend.

What is reserve classification?

Reserves owned, administered and/or managed by the Council have four distinct forms of legal status:

  1. Land held subject to the Reserves Act, and classified according to its principal purpose.
  2. Land held subject to the Reserves Act, but not classified.
  3. Land leased for recreational purposes but not owned by Council.
  4. Freehold land held by Council in fee simple title for parks purposes but not held under the Reserves Act.

Council is currently responsible for 632 land parcels that are managed as open space properties; these properties cover a total area of approximately 933 hectares across the city.

Of these 632 land parcels:

  • 597 are classified as Reserves under the Reserves Act 1977.
  • 20 are held as reserves in trust but not classified.
  • 11 are leased for recreational purposes.
  • 4 are retained as freehold until further decisions have been made regarding the future use of the land.

A further three areas are road reserves that are managed as reserve.

The Reserves Classifications Maps shows the classification of all reserves.

You can also search in the Reserve Finder website for all the reserves of a particular classification.

View more information about classification classes.

How does the plan apply to unclassified reserves?

Some reserves are too new to be classified, while classifications for some others have been left until a decision is made on the future of the reserve. Where reserve classifications are incomplete the Reserve Management Plan will be a guide rather than a statutory document.

Council will need to undertake classification exercises for all new reserves that are created in Porirua. This will be done at the same time as the district plan reviews that regularly place such reserves into the recreation or open space zones. The outcomes for the newly classified reserves will be prepared or revised following the completion of any classification (or reclassification) process. Then Reserve Management Plan will apply in full to the newly classified reserves.

Can reserves have more than one classification?

It is possible to have multiple classifications of land within the same reserve. An example of this is the part of Ngatitoa Domain that the Paremata Playcentre lease which has been reclassified as local purpose reserve while the surrounding land has been retained as recreation reserve.

What are reserve categories? How do these differ to classifications?

Reserve categories are a useful non-statutory guide for parks and reserves managers that complements, but does not replace, the statutory requirements placed by Reserves Act classification.

They have been recently developed by the New Zealand Recreation Association to give a general description of the overall primary purpose of the whole reserve, and used to help set levels of service. See the NZ Parks Categories Document (pdf) for full descriptions.

In broad terms, the categories selected are based on the following factors:

  • Character (what the park looks like)
  • Purpose (what the park is used for)
  • Level of service (standard of development and maintenance)

Most parks have a multiple range of uses and values. Also, no parks category system perfectly covers every park type; therefore consideration was given to the primary purpose of each reserve.

Park Category Description/Primary Purpose
Sport and Recreation Sport and recreation activity, recreation facilities and buildings, often multiple use
Recreation and Ecological Linkages Open space, linkages and corridors, water margins
Neighbourhood Local, informal recreation, play and amenity space
Public Gardens Horticultural collections for relaxation/contemplation, education and /or amenity
Natural Experience and/or protection of the natural environment: native bush, coastal, forestry, farm parks, wetlands and water bodies
Cultural Heritage Protection of built cultural and historical environment to provide for commemoration, mourning and remembrance
Civic Space Social and community open space and events
Outdoor Adventure Recreation activities and built facilities, requiring a large scale non urban environment