Esplanade reserves and esplanade strips

Esplanade reserves and esplanade strips are mechanisms to protect riparian and coastal margins for the purpose of: 322

  • Contributing to the protection of conservation values, including the natural functioning of the sea, river or lake, water quality, aquatic habitats, and other natural values; or
  • Mitigating natural hazards; or
  • Enabling public access to any sea, river or lake; or
  • Enabling public recreational use of the esplanade reserve or esplanade strip and adjacent sea, river or lake (where compatible with conservation values).

An esplanade reserve, 20 metres wide, must be created when land is subdivided into allotments of less than 4 hectares. 323  Esplanade reserves are classified as reserves under the Reserves Act 1977. Land ownership is transferred to a territorial authority at the time of subdivision meaning the council must maintain and manage the reserve. The landward boundary does not change as the water boundary accretes or erodes.

Territorial authorities can modify the requirements for esplanade reserves by stating in their district plans that: no reserve is required, the width of the reserve is to be greater or less than 20 metres, an esplanade strip is required instead, or esplanade reserves are required for allotments of 4 hectares or greater. 324

Esplanade strips may be required by a rule in a plan when land is subdivided. An esplanade strip is created by a legal instrument between a land owner and a territorial authority. The esplanade strip is registered on the title but remains in the ownership of the landowner. The title sets out restrictions relating to its use and management. The width of an esplanade strip remains unchanged so that if the water edge is eroded the strip moves inland and if there is accretion the strip moves seaward.

Compensation is payable for an esplanade reserve or esplanade strip where, in relation to allotments under 4 hectares, the width of the reserve or strip is greater than 20 metres, or, in relation to allotments 4 hectares or over, a reserve or strip of any width is required. 325

  1. Section 229 Resource Management Act 1991

  2. Section 230 Resource Management Act 1991

  3. Section 77 Resource Management Act 1991

  4. Sections 237E and 237F Resource Management Act 1991

Last updated at 8:42AM on February 25, 2015