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Healthy Environments | He Taiao Mauriora

Waikato Regional Plan and Regional Coastal Plan review

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Our Waikato Resource Management Plan

It’s important that our region’s environmental resources are protected for people now, and into the future. We’ve created Healthy Environments | He Taiao Mauriora, a project that will review the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan and the Waikato Regional Plan.

These plans set out objectives, policies and rules that the Regional Council will use to manage natural resources, including air, land, fresh water and coastal. Healthy Environments | He Taiao Mauriora has kicked off for the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan review, and shortly the review of the Waikato Regional Plan will also kick off. We intend to begin talking with key groups to seek feedback towards the end of 2018 about coastal and a few other issues. Feedback and information collected will help us revise plan topics for public notification which is expected to happen in the first part of 2020. This is when you can make a submission on the proposed changes.

Ultimately, the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan and Waikato Regional Plan will be combined and will be renamed the Waikato Resource Management Plan. We intend to have a fully approved and operative plan by 2028. We're not starting from scratch, we'll be looking at the two plans we already have, and considering scientific and other data, as well as feedback we've received over the years on ways the plans could be improved. Therefore the basis of this review is to address the following issues:

  • The current coastal and regional plans do not fully implement some statutory documents, for example, New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, national policy statements and environmental standards, Waikato Regional Policy Statement, Treaty settlements and Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato - the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River.
  • Plans and strategies that are out of date in some parts and not full aligned with council's strategic direction.
  • Some of the rules do not sustain values of land and water, enable regional development and incorporate Treaty co-governance principles.
  • Some rules are confusing, difficult to meet, monitor and enforce.
  • Some activities having minor effects require consents.
  • The Environment Court has commented on both the complexity and permissiveness of some rules.

The review is being broken into two main phases. Phase one mostly looks at issues from the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan, while phase two focuses on the existing Waikato Regional Plan. At the same time council is undertaking a plan change to address water quality in the Waikato/Waipā catchments (Healthy Rivers/ Wai Ora – Plan Change One), and will be progressing a water quality plan change for the Hauraki/Coromandel catchments.

 

Healthy Environments timeline

 National direction

We will also need to align the plan review with Government’s proposed National Planning Standards, which will have some mandatory requirements for our Resource Management plans.  The National Planning Standards are expected to come into force in 2019.

The Government is also developing National Policy Statements and National Environmental Standards. As these are mandatory documents, council will need to incorporate any changes required through this national direction into the plan review.

Government has also signalled further changes to the Resource Management Act that may affect the plan review.

For further information on Governments package of National Direction, click here(external link).

Current status at 11/06/2018

  • Phase 1 issues and options papers being drafted.
  • Scheduling targeted engagement with key groups to begin towards the end of 2018.
Click here to read the frequently asked questions Click on image for science questions Click on image to find out how you can get involved Click on image to find out how you can contact us
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