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.

Relevant documentation:

Fourteen parties have filed appeals to proposed plan change 9. Twenty-six parties have filed s274 notices to join the appellants. Key issues raised by the appeals relate to Māori rights and interests, renewable electricity provisions, unauthorised dairy shed water takes, municipal water supplies and operational matters.

PPC9 appeals have been assigned to the Court’s standard case management process and Council is encouraged, initially, to find solutions outside the formal court proceedings before moving into court-assisted mediation.

Staff consulted with all parties and filed a memorandum in January with the Court attaching a proposed topic structure for use by the Court to group the appeals. Council suggested the following timeframes:

  • Initial meetings with appellants completed by the end of February 2019
  • Multi-party discussions/workshops held during March and April 2019, starting with Group 1 as shown in the attached topic structure
  • A further Court report to be filed by 10 May identifying:
    • Appeal points that have been resolved or agreed in principle, pending resolution of related matters;
    • Appeal points that have not been resolved and will be the subject of Court-assisted mediation; and
    • Any legal issues that have been identified by parties as requiring determination prior to mediation

Staff are currently holding informal meetings with appellants as a precursor to multi–party workshops and, where required, Court-assisted mediation.

As a result of the range of topics raised in the appeals, Council decided at the Regional Direction and Delivery Committee on 19 February to form an appeals sub-committee comprising Councillors McDonald, Nees, Thompson and von Dadelszen. Their role will be to consider the scope of mediation and resolution of Environment Court appeals.

Although PPC9 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.

Assessment of Water Availability and Estimate of Current Allocation Levels Report October 2016 (AWA Report)

Council has continued to revise and update the report. 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.



To become a party to proceedings you must prepare a ‘section 274 notice’ in accordance with Form 33 of the Resource Management (Forms, Fees, and Procedure) Regulations 2003

You must lodge the original and one copy of the section 274 notice with the Environment Court within 15 working days after the period for lodging a notice of appeal ends, in this instance that being 12 December 2018.

The Ministry for the Environment website, contains more information about the Environment Court and RMA processes.

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?

The new water quantity management provisions that are being publicly notified 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.

Key dates at a glance

  • 18 September 2018 - decisions made by Council on recommendations from the hearing committee.
  • 9 October 2018 - decisions publicly notified.
  • 21 November 2018 - appeals must be lodged with the Environment Court.
  • 12 December 2018 - s274s must be lodged with the Environment Court.
  • 28 February 2019 – completed informal meetings with appellants.
  • 30 April 2019 – completed multi-party workshops with appellants and s274 parties.
  • 10 May 2019 – filing Environment Court report.

Reference documents

Find out more

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