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What is a spatial plan?

A spatial plan is a blueprint for a district that provides the foundation for all future planning and investment by Council. Ultimately, it will help to determine what our district looks like in 30+ years’ time and map out how we get there.

Ahu Ake – Waipā Community Spatial Plan will consider things like whether we need more walking and cycling infrastructure in our towns and villages or parks and open spaces, whether we should allow for more development in our rural spaces or intensification in our centres. It will map out how we are going to look after our environment and tackle climate change, how we are going to keep our economy thriving and attract more businesses to our district, and so much more.

The spatial plan will set out where we want to go and how we are going to get there, and from it we’ll know what we need to do to manage growth, what investment decisions we need to make and how we can ensure Waipā continues to be a great place to live, work, and play. 

Here's how it fits in with our other plans and projects

Our name 

The name Ahu Ake has been gifted to us by Mana Whenua. ‘Ahu Ake’ reflects the essence of the spatial plan through a Māori lens, and its intent with a Māori world view and the way in which Māori perceive the world.

There are many meanings for ‘Ahu’, and similarly, for the work ‘Ake’. 

In the context of our spatial plan the meaning is:


  • To move, to proceed with a direction and focus or plan in place.
  • To focus and proceed to a direction or place.


  • An intensifier of the preceding word.

When we combine the two words, ‘Ahu Ake’ captures the intent to proceed, move forward and progress into the future with a plan in place to guide and focus the movement towards its aim and goals.

So, as we move forward and start to imagine what our future looks like, we do so with this special name.

Our Story

Our story and the look and feel of our future spatial plan has been inspired by Aotearoa’s harakeke (flax) plant – a native plant with a long history of being both beautiful and practical.

The harakeke has long been used by Māori to make many things, including kete (woven baskets). The kete is a design that while being useful also represents a creation of strength, beauty, tradition and future use.

The act of weaving together the strong, often vibrant fibres that can be used by future generations, full of intricate detail, and able to be used in many ways, is how we see Ahu Ake - Waipā Community Spatial Plan. Intricately weaving a future plan for the Waipā District, creating places and spaces where we are proud to work, live and play. The weave creates a strength, bringing together the past, present and the future.

Its colours represent the different pillars in our district – including our people, our land, our environment, our wellbeing, our water ways.

This is our community spatial plan – Ahu Ake.