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Operative Regional Policy Statement

Operative RPS 1 October 2014The second generation Regional Policy Statement (RPS) became operative on 1 October 2014.

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.

Change 1 (Coastal Policy) was made operative and incorporated into the RPS on 3 June 2015.

A copy of 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.

Change 1 (Coastal Policy)

Change 1 (Coastal Policy) contained the remaining provisions of Proposed Variation 1 (Coastal Policy) that were still subject to appeal at the time the RPS became operative.

Change 1 was approved by Council on 12 May 2015 and operative on Wednesday 3 June 2015. Related Environment Court decisions can be viewed on the Consent Orders and Environment Court Decisions page. Prior material (submissions, notifications) can be viewed on the Change 1 (Coastal Policy) web page.

The final decision on Change 1 can be viewed in the Regional Direction and Delivery Committee minutes of 12 May 2015.

Proposed Change 2 (Natural Hazards)

The natural hazard provisions were withdrawn from the Proposed RPS on 4 September 2014.

Proposed Change 2 (Natural Hazards) seeks to include new natural hazards provisions into the newly operative RPS. The change will guide those preparing regional, city and district plans and considering resource consent applications, in managing land use and associated activities according to the level of natural hazard risk they are subject to.

Proposed Change 2 (Natural Hazards) was publicly notified on 1 October 2014. Check out the Proposed Change 2 (Natural Hazards) web page to find out more.

Proposed 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 Change 3 (Rangitaiki River) to the RPS.  Council initiated the change process in July 2015.

Community engagement and public consultation is part of this process, particularly with the Rangitaiki River Forum and the wider Rangitaiki River catchment community.

Proposed Change 3 is distinct from other Regional Council projects within the Rangitaiki River catchment, including the Water Quantity Regional Plan Change project and Freshwater Futures project.

The draft proposed Change 3 will be released for feedback in October 2015.

If you would like more information on Proposed Change 3 (Rangitaiki River) please contact Nassah Steed, Programme Leader Statutory Policy at

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 9 - September 2014 (318KB, pdf) for an update on:

  • Approved RPS to be made operative
  • Proposed Change 1 (Coastal Policy)
  • Proposed Change 2 (Natural Hazards)
  • Proposed Change 3 (Rangitaiki River)
  • RPS Implementation Strategy
  • Tapuika Statutory Acknowledgements

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