Comprehensive study of Banks Peninsula’s rural landscapes to help resolve controversy.

Banks Peninsula is a distinctive landscape of volcanic origins with complex topography, an intricate coastline and multiple natural, economic and heritage values.

Our landscape planners were commissioned to undertake a comprehensive study of Banks Peninsula’s rural landscapes to help resolve years of controversy dating back to 1997, when landscape provisions in the Proposed Banks Peninsula District Plan aroused considerable opposition.



Worked with

Riddolls Consultants Ltd
Witter Archaeology
Agribusiness Group
Landcare Research
AspxZ Ltd

Project date

2007 - 2008

Opposition persisted through a district plan variation notified in 2002 and eventually reached the Environment Court in 2005. Banks Peninsula District Council considered that a comprehensive landscape study was needed and this was picked up by the Christchurch City Council following the merging of the Banks Peninsula and Christchurch City Councils in 2006. In conjunction with the appellants, the council mediated the terms of reference and asked for an adjournment of the appeal process until the study had been completed.

The project was conducted in three stages according to a rigorous methodology that would withstand scrutiny while also being easy to understand:

  1. All the landscape character areas on the peninsula were identified, mapped and described, using existing physical, biological, cultural and land use data and field work observation.
  2. Four categories of landscape value were mapped: – outstanding natural landscapes, coastal natural character landscapes, visual amenity landscapes and heritage landscapes. The categories reflected values assigned through extensive consultation with experts, stakeholders and the community.
  3. Options, mechanisms and cost/benefit analyses for managing future landscape change were then considered, and recommendations made for achieving desired outcomes, including the drafting of proposed district plan rules.

The Boffa Miskell team combined their expertise in landscape assessment and planning, GIS mapping and modelling, visual communication, consultation and statutory planning to provide a comprehensive and integrated service to the council.

As a fundamental component of the Banks Peninsula Landscape Study, Boffa Miskell developed and implemented an extensive consultation strategy. The consultation strategy was purposefully aligned with the study phases and timeframes set out in the methodology. This allowed input from interested parties throughout the entire assessment process. 

Parallel to the wider consultation strategy, Boffa Miskell engaged a cultural facilitator to consult with the Ngai Tahu Papatipu Runanga who hold manawhenua over Te Pataka o Rakaihautū. The facilitator arranged for a hui at which representatives of Te Hapu o Ngati Wheke, Wairewa Runanga, Onuku Runanga, Te Runanga o Koukourarata and the Maori Liaison officer of Historic Places Trust attended. The hui discussed the Whakapapa and landscape values of Te Pataka o Rakaihautū of cultural significance. The outcomes of the hui are encompassed within the “Te Pataka o Rakaihautū Runanga” report, and were included in the ascription of landscape values.

The study was completed in May 2007 and was used in mediation with the appellants and in further Environment Court hearings. The Environment Court found in favour of Boffa Miskell’s landscape and planning evidence in April 2008.

We provided landscape planning, statutory planning, GIS mapping, visual communication, consultation, expert evidence services.