What is What’s Your View about?

It’s a project to understand and identify the landscapes and natural features within the Southland District that are significant, both nationally and to the District and valued by people who live there.

What is Council doing to identify these spaces?

We are taking an approach which comprises three pieces of a puzzle:

  • A comprehensive assessment of community views of what landscapes are significant to Southlanders.
  • An assessment of the cultural significance and value to Ngai Tahu of the landscapes within the District
  • A professional desktop analysis of the landscapes within the District

The findings from each piece of the puzzle will be assessed and subsequently mapped to identify where potential landscapes and natural features of significance may be within our District.

What are some examples of landscapes or natural features in Southland that have been identified as important in the past?

We currently have some significant landscapes and natural features already mapped, for example a large portion of Stewart Island and parts of the Te Anau/Fiordland area. This current piece of work is to check that what we have identified is still significant, and to see if there are any other areas that we need to consider looking after.

What happens after the views have been mapped?

Firstly we’ll be asking potentially affected landowners what their views are – do they agree with the findings? Then we will be asking the wider community what their views are – do you agree with the findings?

We will then look at ways we can work together to look after these important spaces for generations to come.

There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss all of this, with drop-in sessions, one-on-one meetings and Make it Stick open for comments and questions.

What if I disagree with what has been identified?

We want to hear your views the entire way through this process – listening and understanding forms an important part of this project for us. We want to work alongside you throughout this.

Why is Council doing this work?

We know that public and private landowners care about the land, and that our District’s amazing landscapes and natural features are that way because of the way people have looked after them over many generations.

But we also know that certain activities can – even unknowingly – cause lasting damage to these important spaces.

We all have responsibilities to look after the land, and we want to work alongside public and private landowners, as well as the community, to look at ways we can work together to look after what we have for future generations.

The work is also part of a Resource Management Act (RMA) requirement that involves Councils throughout the country.

Ultimately, though, it’s about being responsible – Southland has incredible landscapes and natural features, and we want to keep them that way, not just for us now, but for our tamariki and mokopuna to come.

What is the timeframe around this project?

The project will take some time, as we are very keen to have as many conversations with public and private landowners as possible. Roughly it is as follows: 

October-December 2020

  • Share your views
  • What landscapes and natural features are important to you?

Early-mid 2021

  • Identified areas mapped and shared
  • Share your views, do you agree?

  • Discussions around potential ways to look after these spaces
  • Share your views, what do you think?

Mid-late 2021

  • Draft District Plan notified (based on feedback)
  • Share your views through the formal consultation process
Are there different classifications for landscapes and natural features?

At a professional level, yes there is.

Outstanding Natural Landscapes

  • Landscapes with exceptional attributes
  • Stand out from the wider landscape
  • Of national importance
  • Example: Fiordland Mountain Range

Outstanding Natural Features
As per Outstanding Natural Landscapes, but

  • Applies to a discrete geographical area or element within a landscape (ie. a hill or a river)
  • Often viewed from outside
  • Example: Waiau River Mouth

Visual Amenity Landscapes
Not categorised as Outstanding, but

  • Important for amenity values and/or
  • The quality of the environment
  • Example: Mid Dome
How can I tell you what landscape/s and/or natural features are important to me?

Simply click the contribute button on this page. Tell us what you think, and there's room to add a photo too.

There are also forms available to complete at Southland District Council offices/libraries. 

We welcome communication from you at any time, so please feel free to use this page to ask a question.

Why should we look after landscapes and natural features?

Economically, socially, culturally and environmentally - natural landscapes and features have important values that are not easily replaced. 

Whether in the background of your day to day life, or something that makes you feel grateful to live in such an amazing place, landscapes and features play an important role in our community and contribute to our quality of life and sense of place.

Some activities - even unknowingly - can cause lasting damage to these spaces. 

We all have responsibilities to take care of our District. Looking after important landscapes and natural features is part of that.

Does this mean rules and regulations?

It could. But well before we get to that point, we need to understand where the potentially important places are, and understand how they are currently used. We also want to discuss all of this first with any affected landowner, and ask what they think the best way of protecting these important landscapes and natural features could be. Together we will come to a solution.

It will lead to a change to the District Plan, but extensive discussions will determine what that looks like.

I’d like more information on this – who can I contact?

Email yourviewlandscapes@southlanddc.govt.nz

Give the Resource Management team a call on 0800 732 732.

Or you can ask your question in the space on this page and we'll get back to you. 

Latest questions, suggestions & ideas

Below are some of the latest ideas and suggestions that have come through. You can comment on and rate the ideas by clicking on them or you can contribute your own ideas by selecting contribute below.