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Region-wide Water Quantity Plan Change

Proposed Plan Change 9 to the Regional Water and Land Plan

Plan change 9 is the first step in a two-stage approach to improving the rules for water quality and quantity management in the Bay of Plenty. It contains rules and policy changes that are designed to strengthen water allocation limits and management.

The plan change was notified for public submissions on 18 October 2016. The submissions period closed on 14 December 2016. A total of 82 submissions were received, those are now being reviewed.

What's next?

  • 30 May 2017  - submissions summary report due. Opportunity for further submitters and key stakeholders to make further submissions will be publicly notified. Further submissions may not raise new matters.
  • 27 June 2017 - deadline for lodgement of further submissions.
  • October 2017 - submissions hearings scheduled to begin.
  • March 2018 - depending on the outcome of submissions hearings, new rules may become operative.

For further information about the proposed plan change, please contact Glenys Kroon, Senior Policy Analyst; call 0800 884 881 ext 8324 or email

Note: Under section 86B of the Resource Management Act, all plan changes affecting water have effect when notified (i.e. from 18 October 2016).

Submissions pie chartSubmissions received

By 14 December 2016, 66 submissions were received. Sixteen late submissions were also acknowledged and approved for inclusion in the process.

The pie-chart (right) shows the range of interests represented in submissions.This chart is indicative only: some submitters will have interests across a range of sectors, however the chart allocates each submitter to a single sector, based on Council's understanding of the submitter's primary interests.



What's proposed?

The proposed changes will address regional water allocation issues and existing urgent regional problems such as:

  • Lack of clear limits to water allocation especially for groundwater.
  • Limited knowledge of actual use vs. allocation.
  • High level of allocation in some resources.
  • Inefficiencies in allocation and use of water.
  • Unauthorised water use.

The proposed plan change contains new issues, policies, objectives, rules and methods for inclusion in the Regional Water and Land Plan. The new provisions relate to the allocation, take and use of surface water and groundwater in the Bay of Plenty region. These changes are designed to: 

  • Enhance metering and reporting requirements.
  • Require properties that use more than the Permitted Activity volume, but don’t need a resource consent to meter and report water use.
  • Reduce the volume of groundwater available without resource consent for properties smaller than 5 hectares.
  • Introduce a new rule to assist dairy farms that require a resource consent for milk cooling and wash down to become compliant.
  • Introduce a new Controlled Activity rule for renewals of municipal takes at the same rate and volume.
  • Make obtaining new water take consents in under allocated resources easier to obtain.  New water take consents in over allocated resources will be more difficult to obtain. 
  • Increase sharing of water resources by transfers and the likely associated increase in the establishment of Water User Groups.

 See public notice from 18 October 2016 and supporting documents.

Background information

Input and feedback from 172 key stakeholders, iwi and members of the general public was collected through an informal consultation process between August and December 2015, based on a DRAFT Region-wide Water Quantity Plan Change.

See a summary of feedback received here: DRAFT Region-wide Water Quantity Plan Change feedback summary report, March 2016 (222kb) 

The DRAFT plan change was ammended based on feedback received and became the PROPOSED Region-Wide Water Quantity Plan Change which was notified for public submissions in October 2016.