Skip to main content


Home > Plans, policies and resources > Policies > Operative Regional Policy Statement

Operative Regional Policy Statement

Operative RPS 1 October 2014

On this page:

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.

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.

The Operative RPS

Note: This is a single column version of the RPS prepared especially for web browsing so the page numbering and layout does not correspond with the printed version.

  • Contents and Part One (Introduction) (2.59MB, pdf)
  • Part Two (Issues and objectives) (1.32B, pdf)
  • Part Three (Policies and methods) (708KB, pdf)
  • Part Four (Monitoring the RPS) (152KB, pdf)
  • Part Five (Principal reasons) (88KB, pdf)
  • Appendices
    • Appendix A - Definitions (184KB, pdf)
    • Appendix B - High quality urban design principles (45KB, pdf)
    • Appendix C - Indicative growth area timing and business land provision (59.8KB, pdf)
    • Appendix D - Indicative growth area sequencing(77.2KB, pdf)
    • Appendix E - Management and growth areas for the western BOP(4.81MB, pdf)
    • Appendix F - Criteria for assessing matters of national importance (177KB, pdf)
    • Appendix G - Criteria applicable to Policy MN 7B (119KB, pdf)
    • Appendix H - Portions of Rotorua Lake Catchment within the Waikato Region (1.23MB, pdf)
    • Appendix I - Coastal environment and natural character maps (4.04MB, pdf)
    • Appendix J - Natural character attributes (409KB, pdf)
    • Appendix K - The Natural Hazards Risk Management Policy Framework (61.3KB, pdf)
    • Appendix L - Methodology for risk assessment (173KB, pdf)
    • Appendix M - Natural Hazards Risk Reduction Measures (31.1KB, pdf)

You can also order a printed copy by emailing The RPS costs $30 (GST inclusive).

Statutory Acknowledgements

The Ngā Whakaaetanga-ā-Ture ki Te Taiao ā Toi (Statutory Acknowledgements in the Bay of Plenty) is a compendium document to be read as an attachment to a nd in conjunction with the Operative Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement including 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.

Changes to the RPS

Change Overview Status
Change 1 (Coastal Policy) To give full effect to the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 (NZCPS). Incorporated into the RPS and operative from 3 June 2015.
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 to their level of natural hazard risk. Incorporated into the RPS and operative from 5 July 2016.
Proposed Change 3 (Rangitāiki River) To recognise and provide for the vision, objectives and desired outcomes of the Rangitaiki River Document 'Te Ara Whanui o Rangitaiki' - 'Pathways of the Rangitaiki'. Publicly notified 11 October 2016. 19 submissions and 6 further submissions received. Decisions released 17 October 2017.

Under Consideration – Proposed Plan Change 4

A change to the Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement urban limits is required to accommodate urban development in the Tauriko West area, near Tauranga. Potentially, urban development could support 2,500 households (approximately 6,000 people) and include a portion of affordable housing.

In order to release land for development four inter-related projects need to be completed:

  • NZTA needs to confirm a schedule of works for state highway improvements, including designations to realign State Highway 29;
  • A boundary adjustment to the local authority boundary must be completed to include an area in the Western Bay of Plenty District into the Tauranga City local authority area;
  • The Regional Policy Statement must be changed to enable urbanisation of the subject area; and
  • Changes must be made to the Tauranga City Plan to rezone the land from rural to residential following structure planning and planned provision of infrastructure.

Details of all these projects can be found here

Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and NZTA have all agreed that if urbanisation is to occur a change to the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) should progress first.  We are currently holding opendays  and will consider feedback before confirming any change to the RPS.

User Guides

User Guide to the Natural Hazards Provisions and Appendix L

This guide provides context to understanding the way the natural hazard provisions are constructed and the key concepts for natural hazards management. It also provides guidance assistance to users on how to apply the default methodology contained within Appendix L.
(Note: The first table in section 4.3 of the user guide also provides a list of alternative, recognised risk assessment methodologies.)

You can view the Natural Hazards User Guide here. (2.29MB, pdf)

Note: Pages 7-8 are A3 sized fold-outs. When printing select "choose paper source by PDF page size" or email to order a printed copy.

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 Appendix F Criteria User Guide here. (2.38MB, pdf)

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. 

A further detailed work stream is being prepared for Change 2 (Natural Hazards) which is operative from 5 July 2016. Change 3 (Rangitaiki River) will also have its own work stream when it is made operative.

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

Iwi Perceptions Survey

The results of the first biennial iwi perceptions survey under the Regional Policy Statement are available here. The survey forms part of the monitoring requirements for the iwi resource management objectives in the Regional Policy Statement. The survey also incorporates questions on Regional Council’s resource consents processes. 

Twenty persons responded to the survey, with most involved in a resource management capacity for their relevant iwi, hapū, whānau or land trusts. Follow up interviews were conducted with some of these people. 

Here are a few results from the responses received:

  • 89% of respondents think the mauri of natural resources in their rohe have degraded in the past 5 years.
  • 60% of respondents agreed that Council provides opportunities for iwi, hapū or kaitiaki involvement in resource management decision making processes.
  • 65% of respondents felt Council considers and responds to kaitiaki advice. In contrast 71% of respondents do not feel cultural advice is reflected in Council’s decisions. 
  • 37% of respondents think their iwi, hapū or organisation almost always experiences consistent, positive engagement with Council. 54% answered sometimes to this question, with 10% saying once in a while or rarely.

We realise that of the people asked to participate 20 responses may not accurately reflect your own individual thoughts.  However people will have another opportunity to provide feedback when the next survey is undertaken in 2018.  

The information gathered from the survey will assist Council in fulfilling its policy and plan monitoring obligations under the Resource Management Act 1991.

This is the first of four biennial iwi perception surveys scheduled to occur during the life of the second generation RPS. Each successive survey is expected to help build a picture of how iwi or kaitiaki practitioners perceive how well the RPS iwi resource management objectives are being achieved. The survey results will be analysed in combination with information collated for other monitoring indicators linked to each objective. 

Komiti Māori approved the process for developing the iwi perceptions survey during 2015 and making the results publicly available on Council’s website at their 29 June 2016 hui. Click here for a copy of the 29 June agenda report.

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 RPS?

Email: Phone: 0800 884 880

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