About Village Planning

Village Planning was initiated in 2011 as part of revitalization of community functions after the 2010-2012 earthquakes. SPRIG (Stoddart Point Regeneration Ideas Group) was established to support the post-earthquake recovery of our community. It was instrumental in gathering ideas into the document ‘Getting to the Point’. SPRIG was merged into the Diamond Harbour Community Association, which has been consulting with locals and working with the Council since November 2015, to develop a package of projects that provide for future sustainable development for the community. This has been named the Diamond Harbour Action Plan and was finalised in March 2017. It helps implement the ideas that were outlined in the SPRIG ‘Getting to the Point’. For more information see the Village Planning section of the website.

Godley House Site Future – May 2019

Meeting Monday 13 May 2019

Andrea Wild – CCC Community Development Advisor, Samantha Sharland – CCC Engagement Advisor, John Thornton – CCC Parks Planner
Graeme Fraser, Richard Suggate, Thomas Kulpe, Christine Turner, Joy McLeod, Karen Colyer, Paul Pritchett – DH Reserves Committee, DH Community Association, Church Bay Neighbourhood Association Committee
The meeting commenced with the DHCA providing a brief review of engagement on the issue since 2011. Council then provided background on the legal status of the land and their preferred process of reviewing its future.

The land is recreation reserve vested in the Council in the early 20th century. A separate drawn plan showing the site boundary, was created in 1988, when a lease was drawn up for Godley House. At that time the Banks Peninsula Council failed to complete the revocation of the recreation reserve status. The Council went ahead and leased the land to the hotel and the subsequent garden centre/gift shop, as if it were freehold land. These commercial activities are generally incompatible with recreation reserves.

As no revocation of reserve status was legally undertaken, the area is still recreation reserve. The land is still zoned commercial in the district plan, which the Council was saying they would change.

The Council proposed incorporating the area into the Stoddart Point Reserves Management Plan and reviewing that plan to update it. During the proposed consultation process the Council was to consider uses compatible with its recreation reserve status. This may well preclude something like a café. The foundations are also protected under the Historic Places Act 1993 and approval would be required for their modification or removal.

The community representatives responded that there was a wide range of views on what should happen to the site. These ranged from preservation in its current state to intensive commercial development. We said that the consultation process should consider the most desired uses for the site and once they had been confirmed the land status should be defined. If necessary, the reserve status should be changed to a different type of reserve, or the reserve status revoked. The Council pointed out that any change in status or revocation would require DOC approval.

The community representatives emphasised that it had a prior commercial use for many years, namely a hotel with bar and accommodation. That there had also been a garden centre and gift shop on the land. That the Dark Star (Godley Café) had been established post-earthquake to provide a substitute for Godley House and there was wide expectation that something like that would continue. We also said that the Council had received insurance money for Godley House and therefore should contribute towards some facilities on the site.

The Council representatives agreed to review their course of action. They said that as the community was seeking a commitment from the Council to the future use of the site and Council funding, they will take the response back to the wider Council for consideration. They will advise the community organisations what they proposed to do next after that.

Richard Suggate
DHCA Chair
027 687 6242

Village Planning Update – October 2018

Village Planning implementation – 18 months later

Those people with longer memories in Diamond Harbour will know that in the aftermath of the earthquakes and the demolition of Godley House, the Stoddart Point Regeneration Ideas Group (SPRIG) organised a community brainstorming event to develop ideas for Diamond Harbour village and community development. These ideas were put together into a 2013 Action Plan called ‘Getting to the Point’.

It took another three years of lobbying before the Council supported the community with a planning process. After further rounds of consultation, the Diamond Harbour Community Association (DHCA) with the assistance of Council planners and landscape architect produced an updated Community Action Plan in February 2017. This was followed by the Village Development Concept Plan in June 2017.

Over a year later what do we have to show for it? Here is the progress on the nine action plan projects.

1. Godley House site redevelopment
Because of concern about the future of the Dark Star lease and the status of the land, the Council’s Recreation Planning Manager has now committed to a review of the future of the Godley House site. This will require community consultation and I will advise people, when this is starting.

2. Business development and collaboration
A key element of this is the formation of a DH Business Association. This is happening and expect to hear more about what community initiatives they wish to take. Anna Mahy is the key contact person for this.

3. Roads and paths
The DHCA submitted unsuccessfully for a funding commitment in the Council Long-Term Plan for traffic calming and footpaths at the lower Waipapa Avenue junction. Paths have been more successful, and you will have seen the tracks now developed between the Godley House site, the domain and the playing field. We had hoped that this would be done with volunteer effort, but complexities with consents meant it became a Council contract. We are expecting to see the paths finished off with planting, lighting and some seats.

4. Wharf and ferry
This was also submitted on in the Long-Term Plan with more success. There is a Council commitment to upgrade the wharf in 2020-21 to make it more accessible and safer. It took some advocacy to get the Lyttleton wharf facilities reinstated. A shuttle service for the ferry is still being discussed, but the No 28 express is back in action.

5. Stoddart Point Reserve Management Plan implementation
This is being led by the DH Reserve Management Committee. The most tangible recent results have been weeding working bees on Stoddart Point and the improvements at the cemetery. The coastal track has seen some Council upgrading at the Church Bay and Purau ends, with volunteer effort forming the path around Blacks Point. There are ongoing discussions with the Council about the ineffective maintenance programme for the coastal track.

6. Children and youth facilities
There has not been much change here, though the school has recently completed a bike track and there is renewed interest in after-school and youth programmes.

7. Public amenities e.g. toilets
The domain toilet soakage field continues to leak across the coastal track. However, it is down the list of priorities for Council toilet upgrades. The toilet under the community hall is to be better signposted. The toilet on the beach had its roof realigned by a falling pine tree and is still waiting a fix. Pressure on the Council got the fallen tree mostly removed in time for beach summer usage. The DHCA and DH Business Association are discussing short and medium term improvements to the look of the village areas under the macrocarpa tree and opposite Preserved.

8. Arts, culture and events
The DHCA supported the refurbishment of Stoddart Cottage and it is a great arts and crafts venue. The Community Hall has been upgraded and we are fund-raising for a fit-out of the Committee Room. The DHCA is also backing Live at the Point 2019, which will run this summer.

9. Information and signage
The Council has renewed traffic signage in the Village Centre and will be signposting the Hall public toilet. The DHCA paid for a new public noticeboard to be placed next to the Preserved and is working with the Council on a large orientation sign to be placed in the wharf carpark. The DHCA worked with the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust to produce the Diamond Harbour walks brochure.

If you would like to assist with moving any of these projects forward, please contact DHCA Committee members, or the other groups who are leading them.

Richard Suggate
DHCA Chair
027 687 6242

Domain Car Park to Godley House Site Pathway – August 2017

The Diamond Harbour Community Association (DHCA) decided that within the framework of the Village Planning process the proposed track/footpath (“path”) from the domain car park to the Godley House site was a suitable project to be managed, financed and implemented by thecommunity itself.
DHCA currently holds $15,000 in trust that are designated for village planning projects.

These funds will either partially or entirely cover the cost of building the track.

Volunteers from the community will make a significant contribution.

A document describing the project in detail may be viewed here…

Village Planning Update – May 2017

We are nearing the end of concept plan preparation! On 16 May Diamond Harbour Community Association representatives met with Council planning staff to discuss the feedback on draft concept plan for Diamond Harbour village improvements. Thanks to everyone who by email, Facebook and DH Website contributed ideas. Agreement was reached on the following issues that had been raised by the community.

1. Loop road to connect Village centre, Godley House and cemetery parking areas with the domain and back to the Village
Agreed that there would be a one-way downhill road link between the cemetery parking and the domain as requested. The remainder of the route between the cemetery and the cafés would be two-way, but on very busy days the route could be temporarily turned into a one-way loop road.

2. Macrocarpa tree in front of the Godley House site
The plan will show no change to the existing tree. The future retention or removal of the tree may be considered once capital funding is secured for more detailed design work and once an arborists report is prepared.

3. Loading zone in front of Dark Star Café
A loading/drop-off zone in front of Dark Star café will be added if adjustments to road alignment and pavement can accommodate it.

4. Turning for buses and/or truck-trailer units
The Council project team are to (i) investigate changes to the final revision to show an allocated bus parking space near the community hall and to (ii) amend the radius at the intersection of Waipapa Ave and the wharf access road to provide more space for turning vehicles. Smaller buses and trucks can also turn around by going around the cemetery loop, or in the bottom car park of the domain.

5. Pedestrian crossing locations on Waipapa Ave
The raised platform for traffic calming and speed reduction will be moved slightly south-west from driveway at 1 Waipapa Ave. The proposed crossing north of Community Centre turning is to be paved to help identify its location. Tactile pavers will be added to the crossing opposite Preserved. The footpath on the west side of the road opposite Preserved will only go as far as 1 Waipapa Ave. Any additional traffic calming between 1 Waipapa Ave and the triangle is to be considered as part of any changes to the Waipapa Ave triangle.

6. Path standards and construction materials
The plan legend will refer to path users rather than construction materials. Pathway construction details can be addressed during detailed design stages, once capital funding is secured. Footpaths right next to roads along Waipapa Ave will be shown as paved.

7. Path from the wharf to the village centre and DH beach
After considerable discussion of the practicality of an off-road path between the wharf and beach and village, it was agreed to show it as a ‘potential off-road pedestrian link’. This link requires further discussion with the community, technical investigations and feasibility, and capital funding before it can progress and before any decisions can be made.

8. Additional pathway marking
A new pathway between Godley House site and eastern Stoddart Point will be shown. The existing pathway between the domain and the junction of the ferry access road and the DH Beach track will be marked on the plan.

9. Recreation area opposite the Preserved
It was agreed that a toilet in the Village Centre was required, but this may not be the best location and the future use of the Godley House site may affect this. Reference to public toilets and recreation/leisure uses in this location will be removed and future use of this area will require further investigation and community discussion.

10. Council land to the west of the Medical Centre
This area was considered too wet and shaded for a nursery or garden and these functions are undertaken at the school. Reference to a community orchard/nursery uses will be removed and instead it will be described as a ‘potential nature reserve or other use’.

Next steps:
1. The Plan will be revised and sent back to DHCA Committee for final approval.
2. The Plan will then be presented to the Community Board (aiming for a July meeting).
3. The Plan to then be presented to the full Council.

I would like to stress that this is a concept plan only and its full implementation will take many years, during which time it will evolve. It will need to be considered as part of the Council’s long-term plan and specific projects developed for its components. The Council is committed to further community engagement, once capital funding is secured for any projects and detailed design commences.

Richard Suggate
DHCA Chair
027 687 6242

Village Development Concept Plan


The first focus for implementation has been on the Village Centre and the Godley House site. Jenny Moore a Council landscape architect is preparing a Village Development Plan incorporating new pathways, modified traffic lanes and signage. The first version of the Plan was presented to a community meeting on 29 October 2016. The feedback was considered jointly by the Community Association and Council planners and a revised version of the Concept Plan has been prepared.

Update 21 April 2017

The key changes in the final draft of the Concept Plan include:

  • Village Centre traffic flow a version of the draft Option 2 – two-way road through to Godley House rear carpark
  • This road extended to the cemetery. The road between the Cemetery and the Domain closed for vehicles due to its steepness (hence no circular traffic flow).
  • Paved crossing areas opposite Preserved, and at the junction of Waipapa and the Community Hall road.
  • Road to Godley House parking paved opposite the cafes to slow traffic.
  • Community Garden and potential native plant nursery to the west of the Medical Centre.
  • Footpath network marked as asphalt, crusher dust or unformed surface. You may have comments as to whether these standards are right in each case.
  • Footpath from the wharf to the Diamond Harbour beach, linking to the path to the shops reducing pedestrian traffic on the wharf road.

The Concept Plan is conceptual and not a fixed blueprint. It will be used to ask for works to be incorporated into the next Council five-year plan. Any works chosen for implementation will then have to be included in a Council annual plan, the community consulted and necessary consents obtained.
The Community Association will be presenting the Concept Plan to the Community Board on 22 May. We are looking for your feedback now, to assist with final revisions. Please add your comments below on the draft concept plan by 1 May. We will send all these comments to the CCC planners on 5 May once we have compiled them.