Skip to main content


Home > Plans, policies and resources > Plans > Regional Air Plan

Regional Air Plan

The Regional Air Plan provides for the control of discharges of contaminants into air for the whole of the Bay of Plenty region, including the coastal marine area. This includes all the land of the region and all the coastal water to the outer limits of the territorial sea, i.e. 12 nautical miles.

Second Generation Regional Air Plan

Click here for the draft Regional Air Plan for information and updates.

Regional Air Plan Review

The Regional Council must formally review regional plans every ten years and decide whether the plan is retained or altered. The review of the Regional Air Plan has recently been carried out.

The main finding from the review was that the Regional Air Plan is generally outdated and needs to be replaced with a new plan that takes into account current air quality issues. The Regional Air Plan Review report summarises the findings and sets out recommendations for the new plan.

Offsets Requirements for the Rotorua Airshed

The 2011 change to the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality introduced offsets requirements for new industrial emissions into polluted airsheds.  Prior to this change, no emissions of fine particulates (PM10) could be granted a resource consent.  The offsets requirement now allows new discharges to be granted consent, provided the equivalent amount of PM10 is offset by removal of another source of PM10 in the airshed. 

The Rotorua Airshed is currently the only airshed classified as polluted under the national air standards.  The Bay of Plenty Regional Council adopted the Offsets Guidance for the Rotorua Airshed on 13 February 2013 to assist with understanding and implementing the offsets requirements. The document was updated in October 2014 to be consistent with the updated offsets guidance provided by the Ministry for the Environment.

Statutory Acknowledgements

The Nga Whakaaetanga-a-Ture ki Te Taiao a Toi (Statutory Acknowledgements in the Bay of Plenty) is a compendium document to be read as an attachment to and in conjunction with the Operative Bay of Plenty Regional Air Plan including any proposed regional plan or policy statement, and any variation or change notified by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Check out the Statutory Acknowledgements webpage for more information.

Operative plan updated with amendments

On 31 July 2012, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council approved Amendment 1 (Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Air Quality) Regulations 2004) to the Regional Air Plan.  This amendment was incorporated into the Operative Regional Air Plan on, and is effective from, 1 August 2012. The amended plan supersedes any previous versions of the plan

Section 44A of the Resource Management Act 1991 requires the Regional Council to amend a regional plan to remove any conflict or duplication with a national environmental standard.  In accordance with Section 44A, this amendment has been made without using the process in Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act.

Draft Proposed Change No.1 to the Air Plan

Draft Plan Change No.1 was released in September 2006 to interested stakeholders for comment. The Draft Change is currently on hold.

Order a copy of the Plan

Order the plan by contacting us on the details below. The Plan costs $22 (GST inclusive) and is 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.

Plan Information

The purpose of the plan is to achieve sustainable management of air quality in the Bay of Plenty region.  Contaminants in air can affect the health of people and quality of life, ecosystems, damage property, and impinge on the sustainability of air as a natural resource.

The plan's focus is to:

  • Identify the issues relating to air quality management
  • Maintain and where practical enhance air quality
  • Provide means to avoid, remedy and mitigate adverse effects on air quality
  • Allow activities with minor effects to operate with fewer regulative controls
  • Provide a basis for consistent action by Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff and other regulatory agencies
  • Monitor existing air quality to determine whether new activities will affect the local air resource.

The plan specifically addresses discharges into the air that include agrichemicals, odour, geothermal gases and steam, industrial discharges, spray irrigation of liquid waste as well as global issues, i.e. greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances.  Rules permit activities that are likely to cause minor adverse effects on the environment.  The basis of permitting such activities subject to conditions is that their adverse effects can be predicted and limited by compliance with the provisions of the rule.

For activities with significant or unpredictable effects, rules are used to require resource consent to be obtained.  Activities become discretionary if they cannot meet the criteria for a permitted activity, whereby resource consent is required.  Bay of Plenty Regional Council has the ability to decline resource consent in particular circumstances or in areas where a higher level of protection is required.  Rules prohibit activities with unacceptable adverse effects on air quality.

The plan also provides the basis for the development of an air quality monitoring programme.

Legislative changes

In October 2004, the 'National Environmental Standards' (NES) for air quality came into force.  These standards are set by central government to be enforced nationally by all Councils.

In September 2004, amendments were made to the Hazardous Substances & New Organisms Act (HSNO), which meant changes to the code of practice.  Reference to New Zealand Standard Management of Agrichemicals NZS 8409:1999 has now been superseded by NZS 8409:2004.