People giving their views on the future of Richmond South and Hope

The Tasman District has a growing population, which comes with a need to provide appropriate places for people to live. The adopted Future Development Strategy 2019 (FDS) – a strategy which looks at how growth in the Nelson and Tasman regions will be accommodated over the next 30 years – has identified ‘Richmond South’ as a potential residential and employment growth area.

The Reimagining Richmond South project is the next step in looking at the potential for residential development in the area. This is a spatial planning project, which aims to create a joint community vision for the future of the area to meet the needs of the community and ensure cohesive development and place making. This is intended to lead on to a Plan Change process.

Below, we will share what we've learned from our community engagement about this project to date.

Key themes and outcomes - Round 1 Engagement

In 2021, the planning team began early engagement with local communities, iwi, and stakeholders, to start the discussion around the future of the Richmond South and Hope area. We were seeking to better understand the key issues and opportunities for the area.

This round of feedback gathering included sharing information online, letter drops, meetings with landowners, a hui with Te Tau Ihu iwi, four community drop-in sessions where feedback was gathered via interactive posters, and meetings with infrastructure and service providers.

The following key themes emerged:

  • Place naming
  • Protecting productive land
  • Variety of Housing, including Higher Density Options
  • Transportation – roading network, walkways and cycleways
  • Greenways, parks and open space
  • Semi-rural amenity
  • Local produce, shops, services, and schools

Place Naming

The importance of a place name came through during Round 1 Engagement. The name ‘Richmond South’ defines the study area in terms of its geographic location in relation to Richmond, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect the place, cultural and community values. There is a desire for a name which reflects the area’s separate identity. This theme is linked to the need to confirm the focus area boundaries, and how the focus area will interact with Hope; matters which will be worked through in the next phases of the project.

Protecting Productive Land

One of the themes that came through the Round 1 Engagement was the need to protect productive land. People value the land’s productivity and recognise the importance of primary production – growing local to feed local. This feedback was accompanied by suggestions to intensify Richmond to cater for growth, and to provide for growth to the west of Richmond, as well as around other settlement areas such as Mapua and Upper Moutere, as an alternative to developing Richmond South.

Feedback was also received from some landowners on the limitations of the land’s economic viability as productive parcels, including issues around existing fragmentation and lot size, and reverse sensitivity effects from existing residential housing in the area. Some market growers reported finding it difficult to continue operations near residential houses where dust, noise, and spraying may be seen as a nuisance leading to various complaints.

Variety of housing, including higher density options

One of the emerging themes was the desire for ‘medium density housing’, which is well-designed, makes use of shared amenity space, and is an efficient use of the available land. There was an emphasis on the need for one-to-two-bedroom terrace housing and apartment options and a strong desire for more affordable housing options.

Higher density housing options were also seen to be a more efficient use of land. The feedback received reflected that urban growth needs to be balanced with protection of rural productive land – and where urban growth is appropriate, this should be done in a way that makes efficient use of land through compact urban form and walkable communities.

There was also some feedback on a desire for larger family homes, and properties with second dwellings for multi-generational living options. Overall, the feedback indicatives a desire for a mix of housing options.

Transportation – roading network, walkways and cycleways

The community and landowners raised concern over the existing level of commuter traffic and congestion along Main Road Hope (State Highway 6), and the potential for this to be worsened by further residential development. They also raised concern over the safety of the switchbacks along Patons Road.

There was a strong message from the community to improve transportation by:

  • Improving road safety and congestion issues
  • Providing walkways and cycleways
  • Creating a walkable neighbourhood, with nearby local shops and services

Greenways, parks and open space

Along with walkways and cycleways being a very strong theme through the first round of engagement, the community expressed a strong desire to retain and create parks and green spaces within the ‘Richmond South’ and Hope area.

This included requests for trees and greenery, ecological corridors for birdlife and bees, community gardens, a playground, a barbeque space/ picnic area, a dog-friendly park, and a new Hope domain.

Semi-rural amenity

One of the main aspects which the community said that they liked about the existing community is the semi-rural amenity. This included mention of the small community, rural outlook and views, the quietness, low-density development and green space, access to local produce at very affordable rates, the local primary school, and being close to the shops and services of Richmond.

Local produce, shops, services, and schools

The community values the existing local shops, the local school, and the ability to purchase local produce.One of the key emerging themes is ‘creating a community with a heart’. From the engagement feedback received, this included the suggestion of creating a local-scale commercial center, including small-scale retail and services such as, local coffee shop, hairdresser, pharmacy, and bakery, within easy walking distance for the local community.

Event attendees identify what's good and what's missing from Richmond South

Key themes and outcomes - Round 2 Engagement

Council collected feedback over a four-week period in April, building on what we learned from our first round of engagement late last year.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this most recent round of engagement was held online and over the phone. We hosted webinars, visioning sessions, workshops, and received detailed feedback via our website form.

Below is a summary of the feedback received by theme, followed by responses to the early concepts for growth.


We knew from Round 1 engagement that the Hope community value their identity as a separate location from Richmond, and that there is a need for a place name, other than the ‘Richmond South’, that reflects the area’s separate identity. This theme is linked to the need to confirm the focus area boundaries, and how the focus area will interact with Hope; matters which will continue to be worked through in the next stages of the project. The idea of placemaking was further developed through Round 2, where participants expressed a desire for green space between Richmond and Hope, to create physical separation, and for the creation of a gateway into the townships of Hope and Richmond beyond this.

Productive Land

In Round 1 engagement we learned that productive land is important to the community, and wanted to further investigate what specific aspects of productive land the community value. Through Round 2 engagement, we heard that the majority of participants value all of the aspects of productive land that we had identified, both personally and for the Richmond South – Hope area.

In particular:

  • Access to local produce is valued for providing fresh food at an affordable price, ‘keeping things local’, ensuring resilience, avoiding reliance on imports, and for the lower-carbon footprint generally associated with local produce.
  • The economic opportunities that come from local production are valued, primarily for providing local employment opportunities (livelihoods), however, also for commercially sustainable businesses as exports.
  • The idea of keeping productive land for future generations is valued. Concern was raised over urban sprawl and the cumulative effects of this/ erosion of productive land over time.
  • Rural character was valued. This included mention of fresh air, space, and the area’s rural amenity.
  • The rural community was always shown to be valued, however, was not commonly mentioned when people were asked to provide specific comment.

While productive land was important to everyone, we also heard – to a lesser extent – from some that do not highly value the productive land in the Richmond South – Hope location. This included views that:

  • A degree of residential expansion was necessary to provide for housing and business needs.
  • Productive land is less important for the future of the Richmond South – Hope area. This included the view that productivity is limited by existing fragmentation and crossboundary effects and is not financially viable, and that access to local produce could be achieved on residential lots with home vegetable gardens, and through intensive boutique production and innovation.
  • Productive land is more important for the wider Waimea Plains, in terms of exports and economic opportunities, and that this is the area we need to protect.

Overall, however, there was a general consensus that productive land is important and needs to be carefully considered when planning for the future.

Housing Typologies

We heard in Round 1 engagement that there is a need for a variety of housing options (including higher density, and generational housing), and for a shift towards more intensive development. This feedback was further emphasised through Round 2 engagement, where we asked people more specifically to consider different housing typologies.

The desire for intensification included both a desire for intensification within Richmond central (with some asserting that there should be no new green fields development), and a desire for any new development (where it is appropriate) to make efficient use of land. When looking at housing typologies, there was a general preference for terraced houses, lowrise apartments, and two-to-three storied houses, with little desire for single-storied homes or lifestyle blocks.

There were requests to avoid status-quo development, to have affordable housing, and to have well-designed housing with shared amenity space and less space allocated to carparking.


Round 2 engagement emphasised the feedback for Round 1 engagement. Concern was expressed regarding congestion along Main Road Hope (State Highway 6), and safety along Paton Road. There is a continued desire for improved road safety and congestion, walkways and cycleways, and creating a walkable neighbourhood, with safe active transport links to local shops and services.

The focus on active transport and walkable communities, including cycle link suggestions and a request for the town centre to be pedestrian-only. We also heard that there is a need for a shift from car-centric communities to urban design and infrastructure that allows people to commute via other means (e.g. public and active transport). This was linked to the ideas of needing to reduce carbon emissions (climate change effects), and affordability as petrol costs rise.

Greenways, parks and open space

Feedback from Round 1 engagement was echoed through Round 2 engagement, where we heard that there is a need for high-value shared amenity space (in conjunction with housing intensification).

This included requests for trees and greenery, ecological corridors for birdlife and bees, community gardens, a playground, a barbeque space/ picnic area, a dog-friendly park, and a revitalised Hope domain.

Semi-rural amenity

This theme was reinforced through Round 2 engagement, with mention of mention of fresh air, space, and the area’s rural amenity and character.

Local produce, shops, services, and schools

Local shops and services were less of a focus in Round 2 engagement, however, – contrary to the Round 1 feedback that endorsed ‘creating a community with a heart’ – some comments were received in relation to not needing a town centre in the Richmond South – Hope area, given its close proximity to the shops and services of Richmond. This view was raised in conjunction with the idea of retaining rural land and intensifying Richmond.


Through Round 2 engagement, we have heard from people that live in the area that stormwater drainage will need to be carefully considered for development, including drainage down White Road, and on the eastern side of Paton Road.

Early Richmond South - Hope Growth Concepts

Four high-level concepts were developed – based on the site context and the key themes that emerged during Round 1 engagement – to assist with creating a vision for Richmond South and Hope in Round 2.

The four concepts are:

  • Concept 1 – Do Minimum
  • Concept 2 – Town Centre near Hope, extending parallel to Main Road Hope
  • Concept 3 – Valley Town Centre South of Paton Road
  • Concept 4 – Central Town Centre at White Road/ Paton Road intersection

Mixed feedback was received on these concepts. The key messages are summarised below:

  • Productive land vs development: The vast majority of participants favoured Concept 1, as this retains the most rural land, while others (who favoured the other concepts that show more housing) felt that that Concept 1 does not do enough to provide for housing and is ‘not realistic’.
  • Commercial corridor: Some people liked the idea of commercial development along the state highway, as it would have easy road access and be less sensitive to noise from the state highway. Others questioned the need for commercial land, and felt that a commercial corridor would adversely affect the character and amenity of the area and the wider landscape, and remove the separation between Richmond and Hope as well as the ability to have a well-designed gateway into the township.
  • Town centre location: We heard from some participants that they would like the town centre to be located away from the state highway, with some liking the White Road/ Paton Road intersection location identified in Concept 4. However, overall, there was not sufficient feedback on this to determine a clear preference in town centre location.
  • Roading: There is a general desire for public and active transport options, and road safety improvements. However, there is no clear preference in terms of the details of this, and no specific comments received in relation to boulevards.


Round 2 Engagement did not include enough diversity of voice and level of engagement to produce a vision that is representative of the community’s vision for the area.

Next steps

We’re looking forward to engaging on the more detailed next phase of this project later in the year and hoping to have in-person conversations with the wider community again. For Round 3 of Engagement, we will seek to reach people who are currently outside of the area, that may want to live, work, or build in the area in the future as well as local youth and older people.

This third round of engagement has been pushed back to allow time for direction from the new Future Development Strategy (FDS) to inform the possibilities for growth in the area. This responds to feedback received from members of the community during Round 2 Engagement.