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Coastal Plan review and Draft Coastal Environment Plan

Regional Coastal Environment Plan Review

A full review of the Operative Bay of Plenty Regional Coastal Environment Plan (the Plan) was completed in April 2012. The Resource Management Act 1991 requires that regional plans are reviewed at least every 10 years. The review looked at how well the Plan is working and what changes are needed to address the current issues facing the Bay of Plenty's coastal environment. Meetings were held with iwi and hapu authorities, local councils, community groups and organisations with an interest in the coast, such as Port of Tauranga, with feedback obtained to put into the review.

The review found that overall the Plan has worked well, but there is room for improvement; for example enhancement of water quality in some of our estuaries and harbours, recognition and provision for cultural values and matauranga Maori, and management of our coastal margins, which include habitats such as dune lands, wetlands and coastal forest that are vulnerable to damage.

The review has also identified issues of concern to the community that are not addressed adequately in the current Plan.

In addition, there have been changes to legislation and national policy that need to be reflected in the Plan. Most notable is the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010. The requirements of the new Proposed Regional Policy Statement also need to be given effect to in the new Plan. 

A Draft Plan (April 2013) was developed in consultation with tangata whenua, stakeholders and the community, and in accordance with the findings of Regional Coastal Review Report – April 2012 (pdf, 4.91MB).

Public comment on the Draft Plan was sought in May/June 2013. Feedback received on the Draft Plan has been used to develop the Proposed Plan.

The Proposed Regional Coastal Environment Plan has now been notified for public submissions. The closing date for submissions is 4pm Friday 22 August 2014.

What changes were made to the Draft Plan?

The Proposed Plan includes the following changes:

  • A new rule that sets minimum standards for sewage treatment on boats used for overnight stays.
  • Untreated sewage is not allowed to be discharged from boats within 2km of the coast. This is extended to 10km offshore for large boats (over 300 gross tonnage).
  • The Coastal Hazard policies have been rewritten. The policies will be reviewed when the Natural Hazard policy framework in the Proposed Regional Policy statement is finalised. See more.
  • The mangrove management policies have been rewritten to be consistent with amended Policy CE 6B of the Regional Policy Statement.
  • The Ōpōtiki Harbour Development Zone has been extended seaward to include all the area affected by the harbour development project.
  • Four new Harbour Development Zones have been added in northern Tauranga Harbour at:
    • Bowentown
    • Tanners Point
    • Ōmokoroa
    • Opureora.
  • New structures, dredging & reclamation in the area adjacent to the Otumoetai Channel has full discretionary status. This means that all potential effects on other users of the harbour can be considered and affected party approval required or an application public notified.
  • Boundary changes to the Outstanding Natural Features and Landscapes, Biodiversity Areas and Areas of Significant Cultural Value.
  • A new Schedule 13 that sets out the principle for applying Biodiversity Offsets.
  • A new Schedule 14 that provides an overview of the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011 and how it relates to the Resource Management Act.