Heritage identification and protection

Nelson has a rich history stemming from both Māori and European settlement. Historic areas, buildings and trees help shape how we feel about our environment and provide us with a unique identity by linking us to the past.

The Nelson City Council believes it is important to provide a framework to encourage protection of archaeological sites, heritage buildings and trees. It does this by regulation and encouragement.


Regulatory protection is provided in the Nelson Resource Management Plan. General principles are covered in Chapter 5, District Wide Objectives, and DO4 specifically covers heritage. Link to the Nelson Resource Management Plan.

Provisions detailing how heritage buildings and trees will be dealt with and whether resource consent will be required are dealt with in individual zone rule tables in the Plan.

Heritage Inventories

Lists of heritage items are given in the following appendices in the Resource Management Plan:

Link to the Nelson Resource Management Plan.

Design Guides

To assist owners of heritage properties Council has developed a series of design guides to encourage sympathetic development within certain historical residential areas and within the inner city heritage core. Find out more about Design Guides.

City Centre Design Guides

Street elevations have been prepared to assist with heritage precinct areas covered by the design guide. These aim to help understanding of the scale and visual impact of buildings in the inner city, and are used in the consent process to assess whether proposed works are sympathetic to the existing streetscape. Copies are available for viewing and can be obtained in hard copy or on disc from the planning counter, Civic House. Download the complete design guide for the city centre (2MB PDF).