Each Council area is divided into a number of smaller areas in the Development Plan, which are called “zones”. Zones are used as a way of grouping areas with similar characteristics such as land use together and setting outcomes for the area through policy. Zones are typically based on land uses such as residential, industrial and commercial.

The policy that is included within each zone in the Development Plan then reinforces the type of zone. The way zones differentiate from one another includes defining the types of uses that are not envisaged or encouraged in the area, eg. in a residential zone housing will be encouraged but industrial developments will not and vice versa. Zones have different policies to maintain the diversity and unique character which each zone has. Differences in zones include not only the types of uses but also other development features such as setbacks, height, allotment size, building style etc.