|dc.description.abstract||Maintaining and enhancing urban amenity value is a significant issue for New Zealanders, 86% of whom live in urban areas. The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) through s.7(c) places amenity values squarely within the scope of sustainable management of natural and physical resources (s5 RMA).
Amenity values are natural or physical characteristics and qualities of an area that contribute to people's appreciation of its pleasantness, aesthetic coherence, and cultural and recreational attributes (s2 RMA). These values are present in villages and large cities; they are 'real things' (Upton, 1996) that are dependent on context, and they do change. Amenity values are capable of identification and management through a range of resource management methods.
A wide range of regulatory and non-regulatory methods are used by councils to manage urban amenity values. District Plan regulatory instruments like rules, zones, and structure plans are favoured by the majority of councils as effective, specific and certain methods to maintain and enhance urban amenity values (Karen Bell and Associates et al, 2000b). A three test framework for effectiveness applied in this dissertation based on a plan assessment (s32 RMA) test, a good practice test, and an amenity outcomes test confirms that urban design guidelines are less effective than regulatory methods in promoting sustainable management of resources in terms of maintaining and enhancing urban amenity values.
The Hanmer Springs Building Design Guide was an innovation of the Amuri District Scheme (1990). It is noted in the Hurunui Proposed District Plan (1995) as a tool to ensure that the character of Hanmer Springs is maintained and enhanced (Hurunui District Council, 1995). It has evolved in an ad hoc, uncoordinated way without the benefit of the systematic, issue specific approach recommended by Popova (2001). The three test framework confirms that the Hanmer Springs Building Design Guide is not an effective tool to maintain and enhance the amenity values of the alpine village or colonial area of Hanmer Springs. Fundamental weaknesses in the linkages of issues, objectives, policies, and methods in the drafting of the Guide, and in its administration has led to the marginalisation of the Guide standards as the baseline from which the adverse effects of development and subdivision can be determined. The Hanmer Springs Building Design Guide has few features or qualities recommended by Cullingworth (1991) and a review of its effectiveness has not been undertaken by the Council or the Environment Court.
The major recommendation in this dissertation is that the Hurunui District Council should undertake a review of the Hanmer Springs Building Design Guide and its administration. A four step process is recommended as a good practice template to enable a new Hanmer Springs Building Design Guide to manage the growth and development of Hanmer Springs. This will ensure that the people and community can provide for their social, economic, and cultural wellbeing while maintaining and enhancing the urban amenity values of Hanmer Springs as part of a sustainable future for the town.||en