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Region-wide Water Quantity Plan Change

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. On 27 August 2018, after three days of hearings and many days of deliberations, the Hearing Committee provided Council with their Report and Recommendations on Proposed Plan Change 9. The plan change was undertaken to strengthen water allocation limits and improve management of water in the Bay of Plenty.

The Regional Direction and Delivery Committee adopted these recommendations as Council decisions on 18 September 2018 and those decisions were publicly notified on 9 October 2018.

Submitters have 30 working days to lodge any appeals with the Environment Court.

Water quanity plan change graphic

See submissions and hearings information here>> 

What's changed?

The new water quantity management provisions that are being publicly notified include:

  • confirmation of interim allocation limits and a policy to generally decline new applications for water takes in areas that are already fully allocated.
  • special pathway to resource consent for existing dairy shed water takes (where required).
  • a requirement for existing water takes currently allowed as a permitted activity, to register with Council within 12 months of the rule becoming operative.
  • increased metering and reporting requirements for new consented water takes and some permitted takes.
  • a decrease in the amount of groundwater allowed to be taken as a permitted activity on properties smaller than 5 hectares.

The ‘generally decline’ policy for fully allocated catchments does not apply to renewals for existing consents. However, the plan change does include a policy to phase out over-allocation through various methods.

The changes will not directly impact people who receive water through a municipal water supply provided by their city or district council, or those that take water only for their reasonable domestic and stock needs.

Key dates at a glance

  • 18 September 2018 - decisions made by Council on recommendations from the hearing committee
  • 9 October 2018 - decisions publicly notified
  • 21 November 2018 - appeals must be lodged with the Environment Court

Reference documents

Find out more

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