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Canterbury Regional Landscape Study Review 2010 

Canterbury is one of the largest and one of the most diverse regions of New Zealand. Canterbury’s natural features and landscapes range from New Zealand’s highest mountain to the gently shelving Canterbury Plains, encompassing a huge variety of ecosystems and spanning a long history of human habitation.

Environment Canterbury has commissioned a report that identifies areas of outstanding natural features and landscapes (ONF/Ls) at a regional scale throughout Canterbury. It is a comprehensive, technical, peer-reviewed update of the Canterbury Regional Landscape Study of 1993, which was one of the first regional landscape analyses completed in response to the 1991 Resource Management Act in New Zealand.

The 2010 report builds upon the methods used in 1993 and reflects current best practice in landscape assessment. It is intended to provide a basis for informing further detailed landscape studies in the region. The focus of the report is on large-scale landscape patterns that are able to be distinguished at a regional level, rather than site specific analysis. Detailed studies are likely to identify more features that are distinguishable at a local level, as well as refine specific boundaries in response to finer grained analysis.

Read the archived version of the Regional Landscape Review


Why was this study done?
The study was undertaken to update the 1993 Canterbury Regional Landscape Study. This was considered an essential part of reviewing the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement.

What is the role of Environment Canterbury and territorial authorities in landscape planning?
Both regional councils and territorial authorities are required to provide for the protection of outstanding natural features and landscapes from inappropriate subdivision, use and development. They do this through district and regional plans, and through the resource consent process.

What is a landscape?
Landscape can be considered as:

“The physical and characteristic products of the interaction between human societies and culture with the natural environment. They can be considered to be spatial areas where place specific elements and processes reflect a particular natural and cultural history. This unique combination of attributes may be expressed visually or in terms of meaning and spirituality. Because the underlying human and natural processes are subject to change and evolution, landscapes are dynamic systems.” Allan Rackham (Boffa Miskell)

What is “a regional scale”?
The study is not a paddock by paddock assessment, rather it identifies areas and features at a broad regional level which contain values which contribute to it being considered “outstanding”. The maps included in the study therefore do not have exact or fixed boundaries.

What does the Resource Management Act say about outstanding natural features and landscapes?
The RMA requires the protection of these areas from inappropriate subdivision, use and development. This does not mean a prohibition of activities, rather it seeks to ensure that the values of those areas are protected.

How will the maps and values be used?
As with the 1993 study, the Canterbury Regional Landscape Study Review 2010
will assist with more detailed assessments to determine outstanding landscapes at a local level. This may include plan change and resource consent processes under the Resource Management Act 1991. It will also be used to inform the review of the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement which is currently underway.

Who did the study?
The study was undertaken by Yvonne Pfluger and Allan Rackham from Boffa Miskell Limited, and peer reviewed by Di Lucas of Lucas Associates. Di and Allan were authors of the original 1993 study. Landscape architects Andrew Craig and Graham Densem also provided input into the review of the document through a workshop.

Who will use the study?
Landscape practitioners, local authorities and stakeholders are likely to use the study to assist with outstanding natural feature and landscape identification. It will be useful for informing plan reviews or finer grained assessments for particular activities.

When will consultation occur?
This document is a peer-reviewed technical report. Where provisions are included in district or regional plans, or the Regional Policy Statement, consultation through RMA processes will occur then.

Archived Regional Landscape Review

The archived version of the Regional Landscape Review from 1993 is listed below. It has been broken into parts for easier download.  Please note that this review is not current.

Canterbury Regional Landscape Study (ARCHIVED from 1993) Volume 1 (7 MB)
Canterbury Regional Landscape Study (ARCHIVED from 1993) Volume 2 pages 1 - 75 (7.8MB)
Canterbury Regional Landscape Study (ARCHIVED from 1993 ) Volume 2 pages  76 - 150 (14 MB)
Canterbury Regional Landscape Study (ARCHIVED from 1993) Volume 2 pages 151-236 (8 MB)