Policy # 5007 - Reserves and Parks management
Date issued: 23 November 1998
Reviewed: March 2013
Adopted by Council: June 2013 BACKGROUND:
Reserves and parks are held and managed by the Council in trust for the benefit and
enjoyment of the public. They contribute significantly to the quality of life in the District, the
health of the community and the sense of place for local residents.
The Council provides a range of parks, recreational facilities and protects the natural
environmental through the provision of local playgrounds for kids to play on; multi-use sports
fields, gardens and large un-spoilt wilderness areas. Parks also support sporting and
recreational events that gather people together and sometimes draw large crowds to the Far
There are a number of buildings and facilities on Council parks that have been developed by
community or sporting groups and to maximise the opportunity to access non-Council funds
there is often a need to provide security of tenure for these groups.
Reserves and parks can be subject to pressure for development from the public, the
community may have conflicting views about how a reserve should be developed or a
sporting group may wish to develop a particular recreational facility that benefits a specific
The Council has delegated to the Community Board a number of responsibilities that shape
and influence reserves and parks management. These delegations are contained in Policy
#5000 – Community Board delegations. LEGISLATIVE CONTEXT:
Reserves Act 1977
The Reserves Act 1977 (the Act) provides a statutory framework for the management and
preservation of areas of public land for the benefit of the public.
The Act also provides for the classifications of reserves, relative to their purpose, and a
reserve should be used for the purpose for which it is classified or the classification changed.
The Act requires that a reserve management plan is to be developed for any recreation or
historic reserve vested in Council The management plan is to specify how the reserve is to
be managed, what development or activities will be allowed on the reserve and how it will be
maintained or enhanced.
The Act also requires the Council to consult with and have regard to the views of the public
before undertaking certain actions in respect of reserves for which it is the administering
Resource Management Act 1991
The purpose of the Resource Management Act 1991 is to promote the sustainable
management of natural and physical resources. The Far North District Plan [FNDP] has land
zoned for recreation and conservation purposes to provide opportunities for recreation and to
protect areas of high conservation value, including indigenous vegetation and habitats of
The FNDP rules recognises that recreational activities can have off site or other adverse
effects that need to be managed. The zone rules complement the Reserves Act provisions
and require management plans to be prepared for all Council reserves stating the purpose/s
of the reserve and including a concept plan.
Through development opportunities the FNDP rules provide opportunities for increasing the
network of areas for recreational activity or to make a financial contribution towards the
To have a range of facilities available to meet the recreational needs of residents and
visitors, catering for all ages and providing for a range of choices.
To maintain and enhance significant historic, scenic, natural and scientific values
1. Council will continue to ensure that a range of recreational opportunities will be available
to the residents and visitors of the Far North District through land acquisition, accepting
gifts or endowment properties, requiring contributions on subdivision or development,
and partnerships with community and sporting groups and with Crown agencies such as
the Ministry of Education.
2. Council will consult and liaise with Iwi/hapu and other stakeholder groups as appropriate
regarding the management, development and use of reserves and parks.
3. Council will develop where required reserve management plans to maintain or enhance a
reserves distinct set of amenity, natural or recreational values. Any change in use or
significant development proposal may require a reserve management plan to be in place
or a review of an existing reserve management plan prior to the matter being considered.
4. Council will promote co-ordination and co-operation between users groups and the
development and maintenance of shared facilities by user groups.
5. Council will, where practicable, work to develop facilities within reserves and parks that
cater to the whole of the community, including those with disabilities and the aged. This
will be achieved through working with the Disability Action Group to identify practicable
6. Council will consider contributing funds towards joint projects on reserves provided they
are multi-use facilities and suitable arrangements are made regarding public access and
ongoing site management.
7. Council wishes that reserves enjoy maximum public access and use however it
recognises that a number of activities require a permanent base on recreation reserves,
which may limit public access.
8. Council will from time to time set charges for the use of reserves and parks.
9. Council will from time to time appoint suitable persons to be voluntary reserve wardens to
promote general safety and enjoyment of reserves and beach areas.
10. Council wishes to ensure that recreational activities establishing headquarters or facilities
on reserves land are treated alike and to this end will develop a standard form of lease.
a. Leases will include a requirement to insure improvements on reserves, have
public liability insurance, pay all utility charges including but not limited to water
b. Community or sporting groups wanting a permanent base on a reserve will be
offered a short term license if the proposed use does not require development of
significant facilities and a longer term lease if a significant financial investment in
facilities is required by the group.
11. Organisations granted leases for buildings on Council land and engaged in commercial
activities e.g. liquor sales to supplement income, will be required to pay a "commercial
rental" for the area that is used commercially i.e. liquor licensed area .
12. Income derived from leases of Council reserves will be used to offset maintenance costs
or used to develop reserves.
OTHER RELEVANT COUNCIL POLICIES AND BYLAWS
When managing reserves, there are some issues that are better dealt with in a bylaw or the
Recreation Activity Management Plan rather than a policy. These include:
1. Restrictions or prohibitions on the use of public land e.g., motorised vehicles,
bicycles, skateboards and horses.
2. Service levels related to reserve maintenance
3. Control of liquor and dogs.
This policy should be considered along side the following bylaws;
Public Places Liquor Control 2003
Control of the Use of Public Paces
Mobile Shops and Hawkers
Other relevant policies:
Policy # 2104A - Procurement Policy and Procedures for Community Projects
Policy # 3206 - Recreation and Sport
Policy # 5011 - Reserve management committees
Policy # 5012 - Community Gardens
Policy # 5014 - Smoke Free Parks, Playgrounds & Reserves