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  Council » Policies and Plans » Rules and regulation » Regional Coastal Plan

Regional Coastal Plan

Click here to read the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan

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The Waikato Regional Coastal Plan (RCP) contains policy and methods to manage the allocation and use of coastal resources. The plan implements the Regional Policy Statement and the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement. This plan contains rules and actions that are implemented through our resource consent process and environmental education programmes.

About the Regional Coastal Plan

What area does the plan cover?

The plan applies across the coastal marine area (CMA) of the Waikato region, from the line of mean high water spring (MHWS) out to 12 nautical miles (approximately 20 km). Where the line of MHWS crosses a river, the landward boundary is determined by whichever is the lesser of one kilometre upstream from the mouth, or the point upstream calculated by multiplying the width of the river mouth by five. The CMA boundary has been fixed by agreement between the district council, Waikato Regional Council and the Minister of Conservation for some rivers – refer to Schedule 4.

As a result of the realignment of the boundary between the Waikato Regional Council and the Auckland Council, the area between Kaiaua and Matangarahi has been transferred to the Waikato Region. Until the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan is amended to address this area, the planning documents prepared by the Auckland Regional Council (as at 1 November 2010) continue to apply. The relevent planning documents for this part of the coastal marine area are the Auckland Transitional Coastal Plan, the Auckland Regional Plan: Coastal, and Variation 2 to the Auckland Regional Plan: Coastal.

Plan status

The Regional Coastal Plan was made operative in 2014.

Plan updates

Waikato Regional Council keeps a record of people holding an operative Regional Coastal Plan and will provide these people with notification of any amendments to the plan. Contact us if you need to update any of the contact details which we hold for this purpose or if you would like to be notified by email of information about policy updates. Alternatively you should refer to this section of the website for any new notifications.

Variations and plan changes

Removal of restricted coastal activities

Restricted coastal activities are those activities that the Minister of Conservation has determined that the Minister will be the consent authority for, rather than the regional council. The Minister has now determined that no activities shall be restricted coastal activities and instructed the Waikato Regional Council to remove all restricted coastal activities from the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan.

All references to restricted coastal activities have been removed from the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan effective from 24 February 2011.

Marine Farming Variation

The Marine Farming Variation was notified in October 1999. Decisions were released in July 2000, and it became operative in part in January 2007. There is one outstanding appeal relating to marine farm MFP364.

The variation inserted an entirely new chapter 6 into the proposed RCP as well as provisions in chapters 16 and 17, and appendices 1, 2, 3 and 6.

Wilson Bay Marine Farming Zone – Area C – Identification of 20 per cent for allocation to Maori

The Wilson Bay marine farming zone was established by a variation to the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan. Area C within the zone was created by the Resource Management Amendment Act (No 2) 2011. 

Area C provides for 90 hectares of fed aquacultute such as fish farming.  As required by the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004, Waikato Regional Council has allocated of 20 per cent of Area C to the Maori Trustee. 

You can view a diagram illustrating area that has been allocated to the Trustee below:

Map of Wilson Bay Area C showing allocation to trustee
(PDF, 275 kb)

Marinas Variation

The Marinas Variation was notified in March 2003 and decisions were released in March 2004. The variation became operative on 21 December 2007.

The variation affects provisions in chapters 3, 16 and 17, and appendices 1, 2 and 6.

Plan Change No. 1 – Minor changes

Plan Change 1 became operative on 1 October 2011. These amendments provide for the use of monitoring ans sampling structures, and the use of dye tracers for research in the coastal marine area.

The Aquaculture Reforms 2011 

The passing of the Aquaculture Reform legislation in September 2011 has directly amended parts of the RCP. The Resource Management Amendment Act (No2) 2011 inserted new provisions relating to fish farming, diversifying species and structures, and adding small extensions to marine farms outside the Wilson Bay Zone. That Act has also created a new zone of 300 hectares specifically for fish farming (see map 13 of the plan).

Ordering the Regional Coastal Plan

The Regional Coastal Plan is available online. You can also download the document below, or order a printed copy for $120 (contact us(external link) to order one, or phone 0800 800 401). An invoice will be mailed to you along with any ordered material.

Note: Please see the note on plan updates above.

Your feedback

Help us improve our Regional Coastal Plan!  We'd love your feedback as a user of our policies and plans. Please contact us(external link) with your feedback.  

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