Cromwell Masterplan


​Introducing the Cromwell 'Eye to the Future' Masterplan programme

​Cromwell is a town go​​​ing places fast.

With its spectacular environment, recreational opportunities and strategic location at the junction of the Kawarau River and Lake Dunstan, more and more people are choosing to call Cromwell home.

Cromwell is Central Otago's fastest growing town—figures from Statistics New Zealand show that the number of people living in Cromwell has increased 18% in the past five years.

This growth comes from the thriving industries of viticulture and horticulture, Cromwell's position as a strategic hub for distribution and tourism, and strong construction activity. 

Cromwell has a bright future but also a few growing pains.

What does this mean for Cromwell and its future? Cromwell is a great place to live but the town is experiencing the pressures that come with sustained population growth.

Cromwell has a unique history in Central Otago—it's a town that's been re-shaped by the development of the Clyde Dam, when a new town centre was built to replace the original main street submerged by the dam.  The formation of Lake Dunstan created many of the recreational opportunities that make Cromwell such an attraction today.

A rejuvenation strategy developed in May 2010 acknowledged that Cromwell's town centre is tired and dated and doesn't reflect the growing community's social and economic needs.

We're taking a fresh look.

There's a need to take a new, integrated look at Cromwell—to understand better how the town works for the people who live there and how it can best be developed to provide for future growth.

The Cromwell `Eye to the Future' Masterplan programme aims to bring a fresh, holistic perspective that examines how Cromwell could grow in the future and identifies the civic facilities and infrastructure that would support this growth.​

How can I get involved and have my say?​​

The initial phase of the communications and engagement includes public drop-in sessions, industry and sector sessions, a public survey and e-updates.​​


Keep up to date with the programme by signing up to our e-updates below.

How else can you engage with the project?

We bet you've got a great idea about Cromwell's future…so let us know.

  • Email it through to us at
  • Join the online conversation using our hashtag #futurecromwell
  • Share it on our CODC Facebook page as a visitor post
  • Give us a call on 445 0211 to talk with one of the team.
  • Post your idea to us at PO Box 122 Alexandra 9340​​​

About the Cromwell 'Eye to the Future' Masterplan

Why have a Masterplan?

With fast growth come challenges and often piecemeal development. The Cromwell `Eye to the Future' Masterplan programme aims to address this by creating an integrated planning approach to Cromwell's future development and a strategic vision to guide growth and investment decisions.

In September 2017, the Cromwell Community Board took part in an investment logic mapping (ILM) workshop. This identified some of Cromwell's challenges, including:

  • The lack of attraction of visitors and locals to the town centre.
  • The town's form and function.
  • The location and performance of community and civic facilities, including the Cromwell Memorial Hall.
  • The town's infrastructure requirements including 3 Waters and transport.
  • The coordination of retail, commercial and civic operations and developments.
  • The connection between the natural and built environment.

In March 2018, the Cromwell Community Board unanimously agreed to develop a masterplan to address Cromwell's future growth pressures and to shape the form and function of development over the next 30 years.

The Masterplan programme will set a clear direction for future growth in Cromwell. It will focus on: growing the town in a balanced manner, improving the form and function of the town centre(s) and future-proofing civic facilities and infrastructure.

This map shows the geographical scope of the Masterplan. 

How does the Masterplan process work?

Four core projects are being explored:

  • A spatial framework to guide the District Plan zoning, sequencing of development, and strategic planning of infrastructure and projects in the town.
  • The purpose, form and function of Cromwell's Town Centre and the Cromwell Heritage Precinct.
  • Civic facilities.
  • Cromwell Memorial Hall.

Using a Better Business Case structure, business cases developed from these core projects will feed into a spatial framework to craft an overall Masterplan programme business case. This spatial framework will link the Masterplan's strategic vision with the design and implementation of specific projects. It will visually illustrate the intended future location of key assets, the mix of land uses and critical transport and infrastructure links, as well as identifying relevant environmental constraints.

Initial workshops with key business and community representatives were held in May. The early themes that emerged are:

  • Attracting people to places where they congregate, celebrate, generate vibrancy and make us proud.
  • Accommodating growth while protecting our heritage/landscape values and enhancing our sense of belonging.
  • Housing choices that address affordability and support a resilient, diverse and productive community.
  • We identify and harness opportunities for economic development as our town and population grow.​

Why choose this structure to produce a Masterplan?

A Better Business Case (BBC) framework means the Masterplan programme has the capability for both robust option analysis and strong justification of all projects.  The BBC framework is endorsed by New Zealand Treasury and aligns with government funding schemes such as the provincial growth fund and the tourism infrastructure fund, which Council may apply for in the future.

What is an investment logic map?

One of the techniques that forms a strong backbone to the business cases is the investment logic map (ILM). The ILM workshops aim to enable robust discussion and thinking up-front to achieve sound problem definition, before solutions are identified and investment decisions are made.

Is the Masterplan a statutory document?

The Masterplan is a non-statutory document. Programme outcomes will feed into the Annual Plan, District Plan review and Council's Infrastructure Strategy.

How long will the Masterplan programme take?

The Masterplan programme got underway in May 2018 and is scheduled to run through until May 2019. The programme will feed into the Council's annual planning process.

Council made a decision in early August to put the District Plan Review on hold while new national legislation is developed. Council agreed that it would initiate plan changes to the current operative Central Otago District Plan (the plan that is in use now) if required. This could include plan changes proposed as a result of the outcomes of the Cromwell Masterplan programme. The community would have the opportunity to contribute to any proposed changes through the usual formal submission process that is part of a plan change process.​

​Where can I find out more?

The establishment report​ sets out more details on the Masterplan programme. ​

Page reviewed: 14 Aug 2018 2:59pm