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Information For Submitters

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Update February 2017

The hearings for stages 1, 2 and 3 are now complete. All substantive decisions have been issued by the Panel and notified by the Council.  All decisions are posted on this website under Decisions.

Making a submission

The Christchurch City Council is responsible for notifying the Proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan and receiving submissions on the Plan. To view the Plan, or to look up a particular property, or make a submission, please see the Council website.

If you have any questions about the Plan or on how to make a submission, please contact the Council directly by phone (03) 941 8999 or 0800 800 169 or email


An Independent Hearings Panel has been appointed, pursuant to the Canterbury Earthquake (Christchurch Replacement District Plan) Order 2014. The Hearings Panel will hear submissions and evidence presented and make decisions on all parts of the Proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan.

Submitters wishing to be appear at the Hearings should look at the Hearings Guidelines for Submitters and Hearings Procedures. Also see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.

If you made a submission and indicated that you wish to be heard, you will receive a number of notices by email or post from the Secretariat prior to the Hearings. It is important that you respond to these notices as it may affect your ability to be heard at the Hearings. The Hearings Guidelines for Submitters provides information about the matters referred to in these notices.

If you do not understand the notice or know how you should respond, please contact the Friend of Submitter, Richard Ball (contact details below).

If you do not wish to be heard, you do not need to take any further action. Your submission will be considered by the Hearings Panel when making their decisions on the Plan. You will be notified of the decisions by the Council in due course.

‘Friend of Submitter’

Richard Ball has been appointed as Friend of Submitter to help submitters understand the procedural steps and requirements of the Hearing process.  Richard Ball will not provide advice on the merits of your concerns but will help with advice on how to present those views.  Richard Ball is a highly experienced resource management professional, who is an accredited Commissioner and has been involved in a wide range of Regional Plan, District Plan and Regional Policy Statement Hearings.  To contact Richard Ball, please phone: 0800 777 441, or email:

Independent Secretariat

An Independent Secretariat has been established to support the Hearings Panel. The Secretariat attends to various matters to ensure the Hearings proceed efficiently. If you have questions about the administration of the Hearings, please contact the Independent Secretariat by phone on: 0800 2424 040 or email:

All written material, including legal submissions, presented by Submitters at a Hearing must be pre-circulated prior to the commencement of the Hearing. To enable the Secretariat to process correspondence quickly, Submitters are required to include the following details in the subject line of emails, or letters:

  1. submitter number;
  2. submitter name; and
  3. chapter of District Plan (e.g. Residential, Industrial, Strategic Directions).

If a Submitter is filing documents with the Secretariat, the document attached to the email, must be named as follows:

Submitter Number – Submitter Name – Chapter of Plan – Document type – Date on the Document

E.g.: 790 – DW Collins – Natural Hazards – Submitter Statement – 09-10-14

Hearing Guidelines for Submitters

The Hearings Guidelines for Submitters explains the key procedural steps leading up to and including the Hearings. The document gives an overview of each step and provides other information to help submitters have their say.

Click here to view the Hearing Guidelines for Submitters.

Document Templates for Submitters

The following templates are provided for lay-submitters wishing to lodge statements or evidence, apply for leave regarding any aspect of the Hearings process or seeking to apply for permission to cross-examine.

  1. Submitter Statement Template, click here;
  2. Submitter Statement Guidelines, click here;
  3. Submitter Leave Application Template, click here;
  4. Submitter Leave Application Guidelines, click here;
  5. Submitter Evidence Template, click here;
  6. Submitter Evidence Guidelines, click here;
  7. Submitter Cross-Examination Template, click here; and
  8. Submitter Cross-Examination Guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I don’t understand the process. Where can I get help?

The Friend of Submitter, Richard Ball, is available to assist with any questions regarding the process. Call Richard Ball on 0800 777 441 or email

If you have any questions about the content of the Proposed Replacement District Plan, or how it affects you, and/or how to make a submission, please direct these enquires to the Christchurch City Council. Call (03) 941 8999 or 0800 800 169, or email

Where can I see the plan? How do I know how it affects me or my property?

The Plan can be viewed on-line at the CCC website. This includes a property search tool to look up individual properties. Copies of the Plan and the Planning Maps are also available for viewing at all Christchurch City Council libraries and service centres.

How do I make a submission? What do I need to say in my submission?

Information on how to make a submission is contained on the Council’s website .

The Council’s submission form shows all the information you must provide in your submission. If you wish to attach additional information to support your submission you can do so.

Where can I see the submission that I or others have made?

All submissions and further submissions will be available on the Christchurch City Council website under The Proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan.

I have missed the submission date. Can I make a late submission?

Submissions on all Stage 1, 2 and 3 proposals have now closed and the hearings are largely complete.  Any additional proposals that the Hearings Panel directs to be prepared will be notified by Christchurch City Council.  To view the proposals or make a submission see the Council website.

Any late submissions should be made to the Christchurch City Council and include an explanation as to why the submission was not able to be lodged on time. Late submissions will be forwarded to the Hearings Panel, who will decide whether or not they accept the submission.

I have made a submission, what happens next?

If you have not asked to be heard, you do not need to do anything else. The Hearings Panel will read and consider your submission and make their decision as part of the Hearings process. You will be notified by the Christchurch City Council when the decisions are made public.

If you have asked to be heard, you will be sent notices relating to the Hearings. See the Hearing Guidelines for Submitters and the Hearing Procedures for further details. If you need further help, contact Richard Ball, Friend of Submitters on 0800 777 441 or by email at

Do I have to appear at the Hearings?

No, if you have said in your submission that you do not wish to be heard, the Hearings Panel will read and consider your submission without you needing to appear.

If you indicated in your submission that you do wish to be heard, but have since changed your mind, please contact the Independent Secretariat to advise them that you no longer wish to be heard. Your submission will still be read and considered by the Hearings Panel. The Secretariat can be contacted on 0800 2424 040 or by email If you are emailing or leaving a telephone message, please give your name, contact details and submitter number if you know it.

When will Hearings on my submission be held?

The hearings for stages 1, 2 and 3 are nearly complete.  The Independent Hearings Panel will deliberate and issue the remaining decisions in due course.  The Council will notify submitters of the Panel’s decisions as they become available.  All decisions are posted on this website under Decisions.

The Hearing dates and any other procedural steps on any additional proposals will be determined following pre-hearing meetings.  Details can be found on the Hearings page.  The relevant dates are included in the Pre-Hearing Report and Directions and are also posted under Key Dates.

If you wish to be heard it is important that you check and respond to notices sent by email or letter from the Independent Secretariat. These notices are to confirm your participation in the Hearing or other aspects leading up to the Hearing. If you do not respond to these notices, you may be left off the Hearings schedule.

If you have replied to the notice of Hearing, you will be told a specific date and time closer to the Hearing date when you are being heard. The Hearing Schedule does change frequently, as some submitters take longer or shorter than anticipated. Check the website daily for the latest Hearing Schedule timings.

Can I provide further information at the Hearing?

Written statements and evidence to support your submission must be lodged prior to the Hearing and according to the timetable determined at the pre-Hearing meeting.

If you have diagrams or photos that you wish to make available on the screen at the Hearing, you must provide the document material to the Secretariat at least 2 days prior to your scheduled time. Please note, the Hearings Panel will have read any material you have already provided and when speaking to your submission, your time will be limited, so focus on the key points.

Do I have to attend the Pre-Hearing Meeting?

The notice issued for the pre-Hearing meeting will clarify if you are required to attend. Most submitters will be invited to attend. If you have been invited to attend, your attendance is expected but not compulsory.

The Christchurch City Council and some key submitters will be required to attend the pre-Hearing meeting and must appear.

What is the difference between a submission, a statement and evidence?

A submission is the first and only essential step if you want to participate in the process. Information on how to make a submission is contained on the Christchurch City Council website . All submissions must be lodged with the Christchurch City Council.

A Statement or evidence is further information that you may submit prior to the Hearing to support your submission. A statement is intended to summarise or clarify the decision you are wanting the Hearings Panel to make. It should be as specific as possible and include any wording you wish to have changed in the Plan and a summary of the reasons for the changes you are seeking. Statements must be within the scope of your original submission; you cannot seek decisions that go beyond your submission.

You can also provide evidence in support of your submission. Evidence is factual information to support your submission. For a lay-person, evidence may include information on how you will be personally affected by the Plan and may include photographs or diagrams to support your submission.

Only experts can provide expert evidence. Refer to the Hearings Procedures for further details on the requirements for expert evidence and witnesses.

Statements and evidence must be lodged with the Independent Secretariat. The deadlines for submitting statements and evidence will depend on the date of the Hearing.  See Key Dates for details.

The Hearings Guidelines for Submitters and the Hearings Procedures contain information on the format and requirements for statements and evidence. Also see the statement and evidence templates early on this page.

I want to submit expert evidence. What do I need to do?

Only experts can give expert evidence. See the Hearings Guidelines for Submitters and the Hearings Procedures  for the requirements relating to expert evidence and witnesses.

If you wish to call expert witnesses to support your submission, you should attend the pre-Hearing meeting and advise the Hearings Panel that you will be calling expert witnesses and the topics the experts will be covering. If you are not able to attend the pre-Hearing meeting, you should advise the Independent Secretariat of the witnesses you wish to call.

Do expert witness have to attend expert conferencing?

Expert witnesses should attend expert conferencing. If your expert is unable to attend, they should seek leave from the Hearings Panel by emailing the Independent Secretariat, outlining the reasons for not being able to attend. If an expert is not able to attend expert conferencing, they should still read the outcomes of the conferencing and outline any areas of agreement or disagreement within their own evidence.

Do I need to attend mediation?

Many issues can be resolved or clarified through mediation. Attendance is recommended but not compulsory.

Formal mediation will be scheduled prior to the Hearing. Submitters can however contact the Council at any time prior to the Hearings seeking informal mediation. If agreement is reached, the Christchurch City Council and the submitter should advise the Hearings Panel prior to the Hearing.

I have missed a deadline relating to my submission. What do I do?

You may ask the Hearings Panel to accept a late submission, statement or evidence. You should file the relevant document with the Independent Secretariat (i.e. your late submission or statement) along with a request for the document to be accepted and an explanation as to why the document is late. The Hearings Panel will consider your request and notify you in due course, as to whether they have accepted or declined your request.

Late submissions must be sent to the Christchurch City Council, along with a request that it be accepted. If your late submission is a further submission (a submission made in response to someone else’s submission), you need to include the other party’s name and submission number in your submission and send a copy to them, in addition to lodging the document with the Council.

Late statements and evidence are to be sent directly to the Independent Secretariat by email to A copy of any late evidence or statements must also be sent to the Council and any other relevant parties.

I cannot attend the whole Hearing. How can I keep track of what others have said?

All Hearings are recorded, together with all transcripts being available on the Hearings page on the Independent Hearings Panel website on the evening following each Hearing session.