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Operative Regional Policy Statement

Operative RPS 1 October 2014For the latest on what's new with the Regional Policy Statement check out Newsletter 10 - March 2016 (284KB, pdf)

The second generation Regional Policy Statement (RPS) became operative on 1 October 2014. Note that the Geothermal Resources provisions of the RPS became operative on 1 October 2013.

The RPS provides a framework for sustainably managing the region's natural and physical resources. It highlights regionally significant issues with our land, air, fresh and coastal water, infrastructure and biodiversity, including issues of significance to iwi. It sets out what needs to be achieved (objectives) and how it will be achieved (policies and methods).

It does not contain rules; instead it sets out how Regional, city and district councils, need to manage these resources. It is a directive policy document in relation to regional and district plans and the consideration of resource consents.

RPS Implementation Strategy

An RPS Implementation Strategy (RPSIS) has been developed to provide for the systematic implementation of all operative policies and methods during its 10 - 15 year lifetime.  The RPSIS recognises for the operative RPS to be effective, it requires consistent implementation and monitoring of its policy and method requirements.

The Regional Policy Statement contains 103 policies and 72 methods of implementation across 11 resource topics addressing the significant resource management issues for the region (e.g. air and water quality). Detailed implementation work streams will be prepared for each resource topic setting out how implementation will occur and be monitored over time. It will identify key actions, timeframes, responsibilities and any resourcing gaps.   

Success in implementing the Regional Policy Statement relies on collaboration with the region’s territorial authorities, iwi and key stakeholders. It includes undertaking a biennial iwi perception survey. 

Further detailed implementation work streams will be prepared for Change 2 (Natural Hazards) and Change 3 (Rangitāiki River) when these are made operative. 

A summary of the RPSIS can be viewed here. (188KB, pdf)

Changes to the RPS

Change Overview Status
Change 1 (Coastal Policy) To give full effect to the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 (NZCPS). Operative. Incorporated into the RPS on 2 June 2015.
Proposed Change 2 (Natural Hazards) To insert provisions to guide regional, city and district plans and resource consent applications in managing land use and associated activities according the level of natural hazard risk they are subject to. Council decisions on submissions notified 20 October 2015.
Draft Change 3 (Rangitaiki River) To give effect to the Rangitaiki River Document 'Te Ara Whanui o Rangitaiki' - 'Pathways of the Rangitaiki'. Staff reviewing feedback and comments received on the draft plan.

The Operative RPS is available at the links below:

You can also order a printed copy.

Note that the Geothermal Resources provisions of the RPS became operative on 1 October 2013.

User Guide for Appendix F Criteria

A User Guide providing guidance on the appropriate use and understanding of the criteria in Appendix F Sets 1-7 is available.

You can view the User Guide here. (2.38MB, pdf)

Why is the RPS important?

  • It's a statutory policy document that provides an overview of the region's significant resource management issues.
  • It must be given effect to by the region's city and district councils when developing their district plans.
  • It sets out policies and methods for managing the region's significant resource management issues.

Statutory Acknowledgements

A compendium document Nga Whakaaetanga-a-Ture ki Te Taiao a Toi (Statutory Acknowledgements in the Bay of Plenty) to the operative RPS and regional plans is available. Check out the Statutory Acknowledgements webpage for more information.

Draft Change 3 (Rangitaiki River)

The Rangitaiki River Forum has prepared and approved Te Ara Whānui o Rangitaiki (“The River Document”).  This document sets out the vision, objectives and desired outcomes for the Rangitaiki River and its catchment.  The River Document was required by the Ngati Whare Treaty Claims Settlement Act 2012 and the Ngati Manawa Treaty Claims Settlement Act 2012.

Under the Treaty Claims Settlement Acts, the Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement (RPS) must recognise and provide for the vision, objectives and desired outcomes of the River Document.  A change to the RPS is therefore required under the Resource Management Act 1991 to complete the process of insertion as required by the statutes.

This change is known as Draft Change 3 (Rangitaiki River) to the RPS.  Council initiated the change process in July 2015. Change 3 is currently open for public feedback. The feedback period closes at 4 pm on Friday 5 February 2016.

Check out the Draft Change 3 (Rangitaiki River) web page to find out more including how you can make comments to the Regional Council.

Order a printed copy of the RPS

Order the Operative Regional Policy Statement (RPS) by phone on 0800 884 880 or email us at The RPS costs $30 (GST inclusive).

Copies are also available to view at Bay of Plenty Regional Council offices, all public libraries throughout the Bay of Plenty and service centres of Bay of Plenty's city and district councils.


Read the latest RPS Newsletter 10 - March 2016 (248KB, pdf) for an update on:

  • RPS Implementation Strategy
  • Change 1 (Coastal Policy)
  • Proposed Change 2 (Natural Hazards)
  • Proposed Change 3 (Rangitaiki River)

Download a copy of previous newsletters here:

Want to contact us about the Proposed RPS?

Email: Phone: 0800 884 880

Write to: Regional Policy Statement, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, PO Box 364, Whakatane 3158