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Bay of Plenty Regional Natural Resources Plan Bay of Plenty Regional Natural Resources Plan

Regional Natural Resources Plan

The purpose of the Regional Natural Resources Plan (RNRP) is to promote the sustainable and integrated management of land and water resources within the Bay of Plenty.

To achieve this, the RNRP has objectives, policies and methods (which include rules) to address issues of use, development and protection of land resources, geothermal resources and freshwater resources, including the beds and margins of water bodies. The resources covered by the Regional Natural Resources Plan are:

  • Soil (land)
  • Rivers and streams
  • Lakes
  • Wetlands
  • Groundwater
  • Geothermal
  • Natural Hazards
  • Air

Changes to the RNRP

Change Overview Status

Plan Change 13 (Air Quality)

Includes objectives, policies and rules to manage air quality in the region. Replaces the Operative Regional Air Plan.

The Environment Court has directed Council to prepare changes to Plan Change 13 to include a new policy (Policy 12) to manage activities which discharge particulate matter (PM10) within the Mount Maunganui Airshed (MMA), and provisions to control PM10 from unsealed yards in the MMA.

Incorporated into RNRP as the Air chapter and operative from 6 June 2023 with exception of rule AQ R22 and the definition of ‘bulk solid material’.

The Environment Court has made final rulings on AQ R22 and consequential provisions, and these will be included in the Air chapter of the RNRP at the first opportunity.

Policy 12 publicly notified, and unsealed yards provisions limited notified, 15 January 2024.

Submissions close 30 April 2024.

Draft Plan Change 14 (On-Site Effluent Treatment - OSET)

To insert provisions to manage the safe treatment and disposal of domestic wastewater. The plan change does not affect dairy shed effluent discharges or municipal sewage discharges.

4 May 2021 - Council decided to integrate the On-Site Effluent Treatment plan change into the Essential Freshwater Policy Programme rather than progressing Proposed Plan Change 14 as a separate plan change.

Change 1 (National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry -NESPF)

Amendments to meet requirements of the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry Regulations 2017 Incorporated into RNRP and operative from 1 May 2018

Change 2 (Minor National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry -  NESPF amendment)

‘Activity Site’ definition corrected  in Definition of Terms Incorporated into RNRP and operative from 10 January 2020

WITHDRAWN Proposed Plan Change 9 (Region-wide Water Quantity)

First step in a two-stage approach to improve rules for water quality and quantity management Withdrawn on 18 February 2020. This means that Plan Change 9 no longer has any legal effect. 

Plan Change 17 (Awatarariki Fanhead)


National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management updates

To insert provisions into the Natural Hazards chapter for debris flow risk management on the Awatarariki fanhead at Matatā.

The RNRP has also been amended to incorporate clauses from the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 and previous version required to be inserted into the plan without a plan change process.

Incorporated into RNRP and operative from 29 March 2021

Plan Change 10 (Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management)

Introduces rules to limit the amount of nitrogen entering Lake Rotorua from land use. The rules will affect rural properties in the Lake Rotorua Catchment.

Operative from 16 November 2022, treated as operative under s86F RMA since 4 May 2021.

Download the plan


Water quality classification maps

Stopbanks and other flood control structures maps (Rule 45)

The following maps are referred to as part of Rule 45 (Permitted - Damming and Diversion of Flood Waters by Existing Flood Control Structures).

Copies of maps for other areas covered by Stopbanks and Other Flood Control Structure Permitted by Rule 45 are available from Bay of Plenty Regional Council on request.

Erosion hazard zone maps

The following maps form part of the Erosion Hazard Zone, referred to in Section 9.2 of the rules and in the Erosion Hazard Zone definition of the plan.

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 and in conjunction with the Operative Regional Natural Resources Plan including proposed regional plan or policy statement, and any variation or change notified by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Check out Statutory Acknowledgements for more information.

Order a copy of the Regional Natural Resources Plan

Order the plan by phone 0800 884 880 or email us at The costs are as follows (all prices include GST):

  • Regional Natural Resources Plan - $55
  • 1:50 000 scale Water Classification Map - $15

The Regional Natural Resources Plan 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.