Design Issues

Homes in the village are generally required to meet the Castle Hill Mountain Village Design Rules.

A number of existing home owners have contributed unofficial design suggestions (e.g. design considerations to cope with climatic extremes etc at Castle Hill) that new owners may like to consider.

Design Approval

New house designs must be approved by the Design Assessment Committee which consists of John Reid and a representative of the CHCA. This approval must be gained before submission of building plans to Selwyn District Council for consent.

To start the process of gaining approval from the Design Assessment Committee, please email a set of plans to John Reid.


The following plants are suggested (and can be found in Village reserves, gardens and / or the local environment).

Red Beech Fusospora fusca
Black Beech Fusospora solandi
Mountain Beech Fusospora cliffiortioides
Kaikawaka/Pahautea Libocedrus bidwillii
Halls Totara / Mountain Totara Podocarpus cunninghamii (formerly P. hallii)
Ribbonwood Plagianthus regius
Broadleaf Griselinia littoralis
Mountain Ribbonwood / Lacebark Hoheria lyalii
Manuka Leptospermum scoparium
Mountain Toatoa Phyllocladus asplenifolius var alpinus
Kowhai Sophora microphylla
Kohuhu Pittosporum tenuifolium
Lancewood Pseudopanax crassifolius
Cabbage tree Cordyline australis
Weeping Matipo Myrsine Divaricata
Mingiminga Coprosma propinqua
Matagouri Discaria toumatou
Karamu Coprosma lucida
Dracophyllum Dracophyllum longifolium
Prostrate/Snow Totara Podocarpus nivalis
Heketara, Tree Daisy Olearia rani
Common Tree Daisy Olearia arborescens
Mountain Akeake Olearia avicenniifolia
Hakeke / Mountain Holly Olearia ilicifolia
Hebe Odora Hebe buxifolia
Mountain Flax Phorium cookianum

Please consider long term effects on shading and the view, for both your own section and that of your neighbours, when choosing your plantings.

Historically trees have been planted to play a large part in the development of an alpine character within the Village reserves.  However most of the quick growing exotic pines in the village are now classified as pests and are actively being phased out with native replacements.

Impacts of Trees

Favourable Adverse
Alpine appearance Blocking sun
Shelter from wind Shading
Softening lines Blocking views
Improved aesthetics Potential for damage to property
Shade in summer Wind funnelling
Increased Bird life in Village Frosting
Frost/Snow retention as part of winter beauty Fire potential
Play spaces for younger children

The trees in the Village are therefore being pro-actively managed to, where possible, maximize the favourable aspects but also minimize the adverse impacts.

Plants to avoid

Please be aware that certain plants now appear on the ECAN Canterbury Regional Pest Management Plan 2017-2037 which classifies the following introduced conifer tree as pests.

Introduced conifer trees
Bishops Pine Pinus muricata
Contorta (Lodgepole) Pine Pinus contorta
Corsican Pine Pinus nigra
Douglas Fir Pseudotsuga menziesii
European Larch Larix decidua
Maritime Pine Pinus pinaster
Mountain (& Dwarf Mountain) Pine Pinus mugo (& P. uncinata)
Ponderosa Pine Pinus ponderosa
Radiata Pine Pinus radiata
Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris

Please note also that Rowan, Silver Birch, Sycamore and Cotoneaster are also problematic due to their spreading abilities.

The T.E.R:R.A.I.N website offers an excellent list of plants to avoid as does Weedbusters.


Planting appears to work well if plants are planted in late spring with weekly irrigation and rabbit fencing – allow for growth of the plants with 500 mm diameter cages (minimum).


Broom control is required by Selwyn District Council/ECAN on empty sections, and can/will be enforced.