Framework in progress to regulate visitor growth

Matamata-Piako District Council is in the early stages of implementing a plan that will create stronger relationships between our Council, Hobbiton and the local community.

Hobbiton is one of the most recognisable tourist attractions around the world, with visitors coming from all corners of the globe to experience it. The increase in tourists has had a significant impact on the local community, including a higher demand for accommodation and eateries, increased profits for local business and more traffic and associated noise.

These are some of the contributing factors Council has been working with Hobbiton to create a Development Concept Plan (DCP).

Mayor Jan Barnes said the purpose of the DCP is to provide a framework to regulate the ongoing operation and growth of visitor numbers and tourism activities at the Buckland Road site.

“Motor vehicle incidents in our district are a major concern and our sympathies go out to everyone directly affected,” she said. “We understand it’s easy to become confused when driving in a new country, and mistakes are made, unfortunately some mistakes are fatal. Road safety and ensuring our roads are well signposted and easy to follow are a high priority, not only for Council but Hobbiton too. 

“We have been working with Hobbiton and NZTA on various resource consents to address some of the issues as a result of an increase in visitors to the world class tourist destination. We can assure everyone that Council and Hobbiton’s visions for a safe community are in alignment and Hobbiton have been very cooperative in meeting every requirement.”

She said Hobbiton had made many improvements to signage over the past 12 months and taken on board advice and recommendations from independent consultants to meet requirements of the revised resource consent.

“The plan change can be lengthy and works on this consent are continuing so we can achieve the best outcome for the whole district.”

Submissions for the DCP were opened in April 2018 and have since closed. A hearing will be held in the first half of this year and those who have made submissions are welcome to attend and verbally support their submissions.

 

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