Reserve Management Plans

The Hastings District Council has over 150 reserves and areas of open space that it owns or manages within the District (See Reserve Maps). These areas of open space are generally classified under the Reserves Act.

One of the responsibilities of Council under the Reserves Act 1977 is to manage these reserves efficiently both now and in the future.

The Reserves Act requires that every reserve has a Reserve Management Plan and the Council is currently undergoing a systematic programme of preparing these plans for all of its reserves. Once a Reserve Management Plan is adopted, it is subject to continuous review to adapt to changing circumstances or increased knowledge about the reserve.

The review process is outlined in the Reserves Act and requires a public notification and submission process. A table showing which reserves have Management Plans can be accessed below.

What is a Reserve Management Plan?

A Reserve Management Plan is a document that is typically prepared under the requirements of the Reserves Act, and follows two phases of public consultation. A plan will contain objectives and policies for the management, protection and future development of a reserve, and must:

“….provide for and ensure the use, enjoyment, maintenance, protection and preservation….and the development, as appropriate, of the reserve for the purpose for which it was classified…..’ Section 41(3) Reserves Act.

The process aims to ensure that such management is based on sound principles and that, through consultation, the needs of the public are clearly identified.

What are we doing?

The Reserves Act envisages that a Reserve Management Plan be prepared for each of the Reserves (held under the Reserves Act) within the District. This would be costly, time consuming and result in the duplication of information. Council considers that guidance on the maintenance and future development of all reserves, regardless of their status, will ensure consistency in reserve planning across the District.

Hastings District Council is therefore undertaking the process in two parts:

  1. Preparation of a District Wide Reserve Management Plan
  2. Preparation of Individual Reserve Management Plans on an incremental basis

District Wide Reserve Management Plan

The Reserves Act envisages that a Reserve Management Plan will be prepared for each reserve within the District. With over 150 reserves within the District, this would be a costly and time consuming process, with a duplication of information as a result of the majority of reserves sharing common management issues.

Council has therefore rationalised its approach to by preparing a ‘District Wide Reserve Management Plan’. The intention of this document is to provide objectives and policies which apply to all reserves and open spaces throughout the Hastings District, to ensure consistency, transparency and enable greater community awareness of Council’s intentions for all reserves throughout the District.

To achieve this purpose, the Plan will:

  • Manage reserves in a consistent manner by providing common objectives and policies;
  • Ensure appropriate protection and management of important natural, recreational, historical and cultural values on Council owned land and open space;
  • Provide prioritised strategic management action;
  • Speed up the decision making process by providing a common understanding in the community of how the reserves will be managed.

This Plan will also ensure that the primary functions of the Reserves Act are met as follows:

  • To provide for the preservation and management, for the benefit and enjoyment of the public, areas of New Zealand with some special feature or value
  • To ensure, as far as practicable, the preservation of representative natural ecosystems or landscapes and the indigenous species of flora and fauna
  • To ensure, as far as practicable, the preservation of access for the public to the coastline, islands, lakeshore and riverbanks and to ensure the protection and preservation of the natural character of these areas.

Which reserves does the District Wide Plan cover?

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

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

The Reserves Act 1977 applies to all public land that has been vested or gazetted under the Act and specifies in general terms the purpose of each class of reserve and requires that each reserve be managed in accordance with this purpose.

As a requirement of this Act, management plans should be prepared for all reserves to provide a framework for future management decisions. Council is currently responsible for 159 individual reserves and open space properties covering a total area of approximately 580 hectares.

Of these 159 open space properties:

  • 105 are formally protected under the Reserves Act 1977, (classified as either Local Purpose Reserve, or Recreation Reserve)
  • 42 are areas of freehold land held by Council for reserve purposes, but not held under the Reserves Act. This land is generally fee simple either awaiting Council completion of the formal process of gazetting as considered appropriate, or required to be unclassified to keep future development options open
  • 12 have mixed, unclear or unknown reserve status.

This Reserve Management Plan covers all land that is owned or administered by the Hastings District Council as reserve or open space, regardless of whether it is vested or gazetted under the Reserves Act. See Reserve Maps for a full list of reserves within the District covered by this Plan.

Individual Reserve Management Plans

In addition to the District Wide Reserve Management Plan, Council will prepare Individual Reserve Management Plans for specific reserves, according to identified priorities. Certain reserves have unique issues and opportunities that require different use, management and protection philosophies.

These individual plans will provide a basis for assigning priorities in works programming and budgeting. They will include concept and development plans and prioritise actions for the next 10 years. These plans are being prepared on an incremental basis, starting with those widely used reserves within the District where management issues exist.

The District Wide Reserve Management will apply to all reserves. When an Individual Reserve Management Plan has been prepared, the objectives and policies in that Plan will take precedence and be required to be complied with first.

Plan preparation process

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Consultation plays an important role in the preparation of any Reserve Management Plan. It provides Council with a sound understanding of relevant local issues from people who are familiar with and use the open space areas in question. To a large degree the direction for the future development of open space is based on the views expressed by the general public.

Throughout the process of preparing a Reserve Management Plan, workshops and open days will be held with Councillors, Key Stakeholders and User Groups, Tangata Whenua, Council staff, residents adjoining Reserves, and the general public. Public involvement generates an understanding of Council's land management aims, combats misinformation and misunderstanding, and fosters support for Council's programmes and policies.

The Process for preparing Reserve Management Plans as required by the Reserves Act 1977 has been specifically modified by Council to engage the community thoroughly throughout the entire process. There are a number opportunities for the public to contribute to this process:

  • During the preliminary submission phase, which is publicly advertised.
  • At public workshops/meetings
  • During the submission phase when the draft plan is notified.
  • At the hearing of submissions by Council Committee.

Flaxmere Park Reserve Management Plan

Flaxmere Park makes an important contribution to Flaxmere, and its refurbishment will reinstate it as a focal point of the community, with improved accessibility and recreation features.

We are currently consulting on a revised Reserve Management Plan for Flaxmere Park.

Read more details here.

Table of Reserve Management Plans

  Name Status Plan

Cape Coast Reserves
Management Plan


Cape Coast RMP
(PDF 7.3MB)

District Wide Reserve Management Plan



District Wide RMP
(PDF 2.5MB)

Havelock North Domain

Draft Havelock North Domain RMP

Keirunga Gardens



Keirunga Gardens RMP

Duart House

Draft Duart House RMP
(PDF 83 MB)

Frimley Park

In progress  

Cornwall Park




Tainui, Tanner, Tauroa & Hikanui 

Final Tainui, Tanner, Tauroa & Hikanui RMP

Windsor Park

In progress  

Flaxmere Park

Final Flaxmere Park RMP (PDF 6.8MB)

Waipatiki Domain



Waipatiki Domain and Beach Reserve 2010
(PDF 5.9MB)

Waimarama Reserve

Final Waimarama RMP 2014
(PDF 7.5 MB)