South Waikato District Plan

14 Special Purpose Zones

14.1- SPZ-AIRP Special Purpose Zone -Tokoroa Airport


The Tokoroa airport is an important Council-owned and managed facility.  The airport is located east of Amisfield and comprises almost 35 hectares.  The facilities consist of a grass runway (1,120m long by 60m wide) including a sealed landing strip (850m long by 18m wide) plus adjacent open space and buildings.  The buildings comprise aero clubrooms, hangars, and carparks.  There are currently no night-time landing lights or navigation aids.

The property is also used by a variety of recreational sports clubs such as the Tokoroa Street Rodders Club, South Waikato Motocross Club, and Tokoroa Kart Club.  Motocross and kart club track facilities are also on the site.  The South Waikato Racing Club also uses part of the site for grazing and a horse training track.  These activities are provided for by way of lease arrangements with the Council.  Most recreational use occurs at weekends.  Limited aviation use, mostly landing practice or charter work, occurs weekdays at the airfield. 

The Airport Strategic Plan (2008/09-2014/15) outlines a strategy to further develop the facilities in the zone to provide for aviation and related commercial activities while maintaining the existing range of recreational activities where this does not compromise aviation activities or the amenity values of the neighbouring land-uses.  There are existing infrastructure constraints, with no wastewater service being a particular issue. The facility also has potential to perform an important role in emergency management in the district. 

Properties close to the airport zone do experience some amenity value impact associated with traffic generated by motorsport events at the airport, and noise associated with the operation of planes and motorsport.  Noise controls aim to address these concerns for neighbouring activities, as do restrictions on the frequency and duration of events at the Airport imposed by Council as manager of the facility.  The zone provisions aim to manage the potential effects arising from the operation of the airport and recreational uses.  The current and projected aircraft use at the airport is insufficient to justify applying the measures suggested in NZ Standard 6805 (Airport Noise Management and Land Use Planning).  This standard recommends setting an air noise boundary to limit aircraft noise, and limits on residential and other sensitive development occurring within projected noise contours.  Use of the Tokoroa Airport will be monitored, to see whether implementation of NZS6805 can be justified in the future. 

A 50m wide strip of screen planting has been established between the airfield and the nearby houses in Amisfield, to help mitigate potential adverse effects on the amenity values of that area.  It is important that this screening be retained and re-planted with suitable species as necessary. 

Approach and departure slope provisions within the adjoining GRUZ and RLZ manage adjacent land-uses to prevent development that would detrimentally affect the safe operation of the airport.  A 1km buffer within which rural subdivision is a discretionary activity has also been implemented to minimise potential future effects of residential encroachment upon aviation use of the airport.



To provide for Tokoroa Airport, and safeguard it from reverse sensitivity effects of inappropriate subdivision, land-use, and development.



Maintain Tokoroa Airport to ensure that the effects of other activities on the site, in the vicinity of the site, and site development, on operations and safety are avoided, remedied, or mitigated.


Manage new subdivision, land-use and development that may adversely affect the existing operation of the airport and related activities.


SPZ-AIRP-R1 PER Activities

Subject to

(1) Commercial and general aviation activities

SPZ-AIRP- R5(1) to (3)

SPZ-AIRP-R6 where relevant

(2) The construction and maintenance of sealed and unsealed runways and taxiways

(3) Caretakers’ Accommodation

(4) Offices associated with a permitted activity

(5) Education facility associated with a permitted activity

(6) Community facility

(7) Carparks

(8) Primary production excluding ancillary mining and quarrying

(9) Aviation related community events

(10) Non-aviation related community events

(11) Maintenance and informal use of motocross and kart tracks existing as at 7 November 2012

SPZ-AIRP-R2 RDIS Activities

Subject to

(1) Any PER activity that does not conform to the Standards in SPZ-AIRP-R5

SPZ-AIRP-R6 where relevant

Matters of Discretion

(a) AA-R3(1)

(b) AA-R3(2)

SPZ-AIRP-R3 DIS Activities

Subject to

(1) Activities that are not PER, RDIS or NC will be DIS

Matters of Discretion

(a) SPZ-AIRP-R5 as a guide

(b) SPZ-AIRP-R6 where relevant

(c) AA- R4

SPZ-AIRP-R4 NC Activities

Subject to

(1) Industrial activities not related to aviation

Refer to SPZ-AIRP-R5 as a guide


SPZ-AIRP-R5 Standards

The following Standards apply to all activities specified in SPZ-AIRP-R1 (PER Activities), and to RDIS in the zone if granted.  Failure to comply with one or more of the standards results in that activity being a RDIS.

R5(1) Building Setbacks

Buildings shall be set back at least five metres from all zone boundaries.

R5(2) Building Coverage

The maximum extent that buildings shall cover the site is 10%.

R5(3) Height

(a) Maximum Building Height - 20m

(b) No building, structure, mast, tree or other object shall penetrate any of the Tokoroa Airport approach/departure slopes, transitional side slopes or horizontal surface as shown on Planning Maps 35, 38 and 44 and described in (c) below. Where the ground rises so that it penetrates or becomes close to the approach/departure slopes or transitional side slopes then these slopes may be adjusted in conformity with the contours of the ground so as to provide a vertical clearance of 10m above ground level.

(c) Airport Approach Slopes. 

(i) Main Runway

Main sealed runway is 850m long by 18m wide and is situated within a grassed runway of 1,100m long by 60m wide.  It is orientated on a bearing of 310° true.

(ii) Main Strip

The main strip is 1,525m long and 150m wide and contains the main sealed runway.  The airfield has an established elevation of 365 metres.

(iii) Approach/Departure Slopes

  • There is an approach/departure slope rising at a specific gradient from the level of the lowest part of the strip ends.
  • Each approach/departure slope extends over a horizontal distance of 1,200m from each end of the main strip and is symmetrically disposed about the extended centreline of the strip with its sides diverging uniformly outward at a rate of 1 in 20 from the corners at the end of the strip.
  • Each approach/departure slope rises at a gradient of 1 in 20 over a horizontal distance of 1,200m.

(iv) Transitional Side Slopes

  • These extend upwards and outwards from the sides of each approach slope, rising at a gradient of 1 in 4 to intercept the horizontal surface 50 metres above the main strip.
  • Transitional side slopes also extend upwards and outwards from the sides of the grass strip at a gradient of 1 in 4 to intercept the horizontal surface 50m above the runway.

(d) Parts of buildings that may protrude through the height control lines are chimneys, flues and similar projections, television, and telecommunication aerials and dishes, rainwater tanks, domestic scale renewable energy devices, and in addition on commercial and industrial buildings, lift machinery, air-conditioning and heating plants; all attached to the building and projecting not more than 3m above the building height standard for the zone, and less than 4m2 in area.

SPZ-AIRP-R6- Other Plan Matters

The following also may be relevant:

(1) Section 7.1 Energy, 7.2 Infrastructure, 7.3 Transportation

(2) Section 8.1 Contaminated Land, 8.2 Hazardous Substances, 8.3 Natural Hazards

(3) Chapter 11 Subdivision

(4) Section 12.1 All Activities

(5) Section 12.3 Air Emissions, 12.4 Earthworks, 12.6 Light, 12.7 Noise, 12.8 Signs,

(6) 12.9 Temporary Activities

(7) Part 3- Any relevant overlay

SPZ-AIRP- Principal Reasons


Functional and efficient infrastructure cannot be achieved only through RMA methods and needs to be furthered through a variety of works undertaken by Council and other utility providers. The importance to the local economy of the airport means that if its maintenance and upgrading is not safeguarded under the district plan, there could be significant community impacts.

SPZ-AIRP- Anticipated Environmental Results


Ongoing development of Tokoroa airport and associated facilities, for aviation related activities and compatible motorsport, recreational and other non-aviation activities 


Continued safe and efficient operation of Tokoroa airport is not constrained by inappropriate activities establishing in the vicinity of the SPZ-AIRP


Activities that support the aviation use of the airfield develop, such as associated industry including the assembly, storage, repair and maintenance of aircraft, and aero club activities and events.


Adverse environmental effects from activities at Tokoroa airfield on surrounding areas such as noise and visual intrusion are minimised 


Non-aviation related activities develop in a complementary manner with the aviation related activities and facilities operating within the SPZ-AIRP.