The Regional Policy Statement 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 this policy is 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.

Targets for housing development capacity

Council has inserted targets into the RPS to ensure the western Bay of Plenty sub-region can provide for housing development over the next 30 years. The targets, which have been inserted through new Policy UG 25B, represent the development capacity that both the Tauranga City Council and the Western Bay of Plenty District Council must enable through their growth and infrastructure strategies, structure plans and district plans in the medium and long term.

The targets have been determined through the Housing and Building Development Capacity Assessment (HBDCA) and will be implemented through the Proposed SmartGrowth Future Development Strategy.

Updates and 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.
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'. Incorporated into the RPS and operative from 9 October 2018.
Change 4 (Tauriko West Urban Limit) To amend the current Urban Limit and indicative timing of growth in the Regional Policy Statement to provide for the urban development of Tauriko West. Incorporated into the RPS and operative from 30 October 2018.
Update 1 Targets for Housing Development Capacity To include targets for housing development capacity for the western Bay of Plenty sub-region in accordance with the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity 2016 (NPS-UDC). Policy UG 25B incorporated into the RPS and operative from 14 December 2018.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Iwi perceptions survey

As part of monitoring the implementation of the reginal Policy Statement Iwi Resource Management provisions, Council has carried out two iwi perceptions surveys in 2016 and 2018.

The results of the second biennial iwi perceptions survey under the Regional Policy Statement are now available. Komiti Māori approved making the results publicly available on Council’s website at their 22 August 2018 hui. Read or download the 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.

Want to contact us about the RPS?

Contact Nassah Steed on 0800 884 880.

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