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Regional Coastal Plan


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About the Regional Coastal Plan

The Regional Coastal Plan (RCP) was made operative in 2005.

 The plan contains policy and methods to manage the allocation and use of coastal resources.

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 was transferred from Auckland Council to the Waikato region. Until the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan is amended through the Plan Review to address this area, the planning documents prepared by the Auckland Regional Council (as at 1 November 2010) continue to apply. The relevant planning documents for this part of the Waikato coastal marine area are the Auckland Transitional Coastal Plan, the Auckland Regional Plan: Coastal, and Variation 2 to the Auckland Regional Plan: Coastal.

The Regional Coastal Plan is available online here.

Hard copies are only available on request, which will incur a cost for printing and publishing. Make a request here

Variations and plan changes

Removal of restricted coastal activities

Restricted coastal activities are activities that the Minister of Conservation determined that the Minister will be the consent authority for, rather than the regional council. The Resource Management Act was amended so that there are no longer restricted coastal activities and  the Waikato Regional Council was required 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

A Marine Farming Variation was notified in October 1999. Decisions were released in July 2000, and are operative.

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 aquaculture 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

A 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 and 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 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).

Contact us

Do you have questions, suggestions or feedback? Contact us(external link) online, or phone 0800 800 401. 

Plan updates

Waikato Regional Council no longer maintains a register of plan holders, or provides an updated service as updates are now electronic via our online version website. We have commenced a review of the Regional Coastal Plan which we are calling "Healthy Environments - He Taiao Mauriora." This is an integrated review which also includes a review of the Regional Plan and will give effect to the Regional Policy Statement and the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010. For more information on the plan review or to subscribe to updates click here.

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