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.

Regional Council’s decision to approve the plan change was publicly notified on 9 October 2018 and appeals are currently being considered by the Environment Court. In the meantime, both the existing provisions of the Regional Natural Resources Plan, and the notified changes must be considered in planning decisions.

Key information

What When
Draft plan change notified October 2016
Submission hearings

Independent hearings panel: Andrew Fenemor, Antoine Coffin (chair), Rauru Kirikiri, Cllrs Jane Nees and Paula Thompson

March 2018
Council decision 18 September 2018
Decision notified 9 October 2018
Appeals closed December 2018
Pre-mediation meetings March, May, june 2019

Appeals sub-committee meetings

Members: Cllrs Jane Nees (Chair), Paula Thompson, Matemoana McDonald. Cllr Andrew von Dadelszen withdrew from the sub-committee in May 2019

July, August (x2), September 2019

Environment Court reporting memorandum requesting Court-assisted two-day mediation workshop for all appellants and s274 parties

23 September 2019

Relevant documents

Fourteen parties filed appeals and 26 parties filed s274 notices to join the appellants.

Over the last few months staff have been talking and meeting with all parties, on an informal and without prejudice basis, to try to resolve appeal topics raised. 

The appeals sub-committee, which was formed in February 2019, met with staff on four separate occasions to consider the scope of mediation and provide direction toward resolution of the appeals.  Council is now waiting to hear from the Environment Court with a date for a two-day Court-assisted-mediation workshop.

Although Plan Change 9 is under appeal, many of its more administrative provisions require implementation, for example consents continue to be administered under the operative and proposed planning provisions.

Council has continued to revise and update the Assessment of Water Availability and Estimate of Current Allocation Levels Report 2016 (AWA Report) and information relating to groundwater is now available in a live web-based map. Surface water information will be moved to a similar system in future, but is currently available here.

Core documentation

Original submissions

Proposed Plan Change 9 submissions closed on 14 December 2016. 82 submissions were received and these are all listed below.

Further submissions

Proposed Plan Change 9 further submissions closed on 28 June 2017. 31 further submissions were received and these are linked below:

A hearings panel was appointed to consider submissions on the Region-wide Water Quantity Plan Change as follows:

  • Antoine Coffin, an independent, who has significant knowledge of tikanga Māori, resource management, heritage planning, community engagement and facilitation.
  • Andrew Fenemor, also an independent, has 35 years’ experience in hydrological research, water resource investigations and catchment management. One of his particular research interests is water allocation and management.
  • Rauru Kirikiri, another independent, specialising in a range of Māori-related issues such as tikanga training, policy development, mediation, cultural support/facilitation for Office of Treaty Settlements negotiations and strategic planning.
  • Councillors Nees and Thompson who are representatives for the Bay of Plenty region.

Hearing documents and background information are listed below:

Statements of evidence

Points of clarification and additional material requested by, or provided to, the hearing panel:

 Ballance Agri-Nutrients Limited

Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Christina Humphreys

CNI Iwi Land Management

Combined Tangata Whenua Forum

Creswell NZ Ltd


Department of Conservation

Eastern Fish and Game

Federated Farmers

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

First Gas Ltd

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited

Forest and Bird

Horticulture New Zealand

J Swap Ltd

Mercury NZ Ltd

Motiti Avocados Limited

Ngati Hokopu

Ngati Makino

Ngati Pikiao

Ngati Ranginui

Oceana Gold

Oji Fibre Solutions

Pirirakau Incorporated

Ross Goudie

Rotorua Lakes Council

Sam Dunlop

Tapuika Iwi Authority

Tauranga City Council

Te Arawa Primary Sector

Te Maru o Ngati Rangiwewehi

Te Runanga o Ngati Awa

The Oil Companies

Toi Te Ora Public Health


 Western Bay of Plenty District Council

Original submissions received

Proposed Plan Change 9 submissions closed on 14 December 2016. 82 submissions were received and these are all listed and linked below.

What's changed?

New water quantity management provisions covered by Plan Change 9 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.

Find out more

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