Page content Page content Section navigation Topic navigation Accessibility keys Sitemap Search Contact us portal
Go to Waikato Regional Council homepage
search icon mail icon contact us icon

  Council » Policies and Plans » Plans under development » PROPOSED WAIKATO REGIONAL PLAN CHANGE 1 » Frequently asked questions (FAQ) and infosheets » Making a submission

Making a submission

making a submission thumbnail image

Click here [PDF, 273 KB] to download.

What is Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora: Proposed Plan Change 1?

Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora is the first step in an 80-year journey to achieve rivers that have improved water quality and are safe for food gathering along their entire length and achieve the requirements of Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato, the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River.

It is a change to the Waikato Regional Plan, developed with the community, to allow for the management of nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and bacteria in the Waikato and Waipā Rivers. A proposed plan change, developed by the Collaborative Stakeholder Group was notified for public comment on 22 October 2016 and 1023 submissions were received.

Why is the council proposing a variation to Proposed Plan Change 1?

Following notification of Proposed Plan Change 1, Pare Hauraki raised concerns with Waikato Regional Council that they had not been consulted with in the manner required by the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). Council agreed to withdraw part of the proposed plan change on 3 December 2016 in order for consultation to take place.

Over the past year, council worked with Pare Hauraki to discuss their concerns and interests in relation to the proposed plan change. The consultation process is now complete, the consultation together with other considerations led to Variation 1 to Proposed Plan Change 1.

How can I provide feedback on Variation 1?

If you have views about Variation 1, you should make a submission so that your concerns and suggestions can be considered.

Ask yourself what the variation will mean to you and how it will affect you and your region. It’s important that before you make a submission you understand what the Plan Change Variation involves and how it might affect you. You can request information or clarification from council to help you understand what is being proposed or seek independent professional advice.

You can find the submission form here [PDF, 130 KB].

What is a submission?

The RMA encourages people to get involved and provides a number of opportunities for you to tell the council what you think about a plan change or variation.

A submission to the variation is your opportunity to present your views about Variation 1 to Proposed Plan Change 1. By making a submission, you are providing the council with your own insights, observations and opinions about the variation, and the actions you believe should be taken.

It is important to make your submission on the correct form and to provide the information requested. If you do not, the submission may be invalid and cannot be considered in the further development of the plan change/variation.

Where can I view the Variation 1 to Proposed Plan Change 1 documents?

You can find a copy of the variation, summary information, technical information, Section 32 Report, material by reference and a track changes version of the changes that the variation proposes to Proposed Plan Change 1 here.

A copy of the submission form can be found here. Hard copies of the Variation can be found at all council libraries and local offices. You can also request a copy by calling the Waikato Regional Council on 0800 800 401 or emailing us at

If you are considered to be an ‘affected party’ you will be sent a letter and a copy of the public notice informing you about the variation and inviting you to make a submission.

Who can submit on Variation 1?

Anyone, including members of the public, businesses, community groups and councils can make a submission as long as it is provided on the correct form and by the closing date for submissions.

If you already provided a submission on Proposed Plan Change 1, that submission remains valid and does not need to be re-lodged. If there is a change proposed in Variation 1 that you agree or disagree with then you are welcome to make a submission on the changes proposed in the variation.

Should I make a submission to Variation 1 if I already made a submission to Proposed Plan Change 1?

If you already provided a submission on Proposed Plan Change 1, that submission remains valid and does not need to be re-lodged. If there is a change proposed in Variation 1 that you agree or disagree with then you are welcome to make a submission on the changes proposed in the variation.

The feedback you have provided on the original Proposed Plan Change (notified on 22 October 2016) and Variation 1 will be considered as part of the review and hearings panel process.

What are the basics to writing a submission on Variation 1 to Proposed Plan Change 1?

You can find a submission form on our website, or you can pick up a hard copy at one of the council offices. The submission form will ask you for your name, address and contact details. You can indicate on the form if you wish to speak at a hearing or not, if you would like to present a joint case at the hearings if other make a similar submission and if you could gain trade competition through your submission.

On the submission form, you will need to say which section of the variation you are giving feedback on. State the provision (e.g. Policy 12(a); Rule (3)), give reasons about why you would like to see that provision changed or removed and how you would like to see those changes in the plan. Make your points simple, just bullet points will do. Let council know if you support or oppose the provision. You can do this by ticking the appropriate box.

It’s fine to make a submission as a member of the public, but if you represent an organisation be really clear who you represent. If you are from an organisation, but are promoting your own view, then make that clear too.

Here are a few tips on making an effective submission:

Relevant your submission must be relevant to the matter before the hearings panel. A hearings panel may decide not to receive a submission if it considers it not relevant.

Clear arrange your sentences and paragraphs in a logical order. Present a clear and logically developed argument. Writing one submission point per provision (e.g. Rule (2), Schedule A (4)), with clear reasoning and stating your decision sought, can greatly help increase the clarity of your submission.

Concise be simple and direct. Do not write more than is necessary.

Accurate be accurate and complete. Include all relevant information. It will only confuse the hearings panel if, in your submission, you refer to evidence or information that is not included. Make sure your facts are correct. An error-ridden submission will greatly reduce its impact and credibility.

Conclusion state your recommendations in your submission form in the box ‘Decision Sought’.

What should my submission NOT contain?

Please note that all submissions will be made public. The RMA states that your submission (or part of your submission) may be struck out (i.e. not accepted) if at least one of the following applies to the submission (or part of the submission):

  • it is frivolous or vexatious
  • it discloses no reasonable or relevant case
  • it would be an abuse of the hearing process to allow the submission (or the part) to be taken further
  • it contains offensive or threatening language
  • it is supported only by material that purports to be independent expert evidence, but has been prepared by a person who is not independent or who does not have sufficient specialised knowledge or skill to give expert advice on the matter.

Why would I want to present my submission to the hearings panel?

A hearing is a formal meeting where you can present your submission directly to the council. It also allows the hearings panel to clarify points raised in your submission. If you have requested to be heard hearings panel staff will inform you of the time and place of the meeting and the time allocated for your submission. All hearings are open to the public. You can speak at the hearing if you have made a written submission, and told the council in your written submission that you want to speak at the hearing.

Is my submission confidential?

Waikato Regional Council will make all submissions and further submissions including name and contact details publicly available at public libraries in the region, council offices and on council’s website. Your details need to be made available as the Resource Management Act requires that any further submission, supporting or opposing your submission has to be sent to you directly as well as council.

Contact information will also be used for administration relating to the subject matter of the submissions, including notifying submitters of hearings and decisions. All information will be held by the Waikato Regional Council with submitters having the right to access and correct their contact information.

Where do I make and send my submission?

Your submission form can be returned by:

Mail: Chief Executive, 401 Grey Street, Private Bag 3038, Waikato Mail Centre, Hamilton 3240

Delivery: Waikato Regional Council, 401 Grey Street, Hamilton East, Hamilton (between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday)

Fax: (07) 859 0998


Please note, submissions received by email must contain full contact details

What happens if I cannot meet the submissions closing date?

Late submissions may not be accepted by the hearings panel, so please make sure your submission is sent to council before the closing date.

If you have any problems meeting the closing date, telephone council immediately so that alternative arrangements, if possible, can be made.

This information has been provided based on Waikato Regional Council’s interpretation of the proposed plan. The proposed plan is subject to change through the hearings process.

About this site     Contact us     Feedback and complaints