What is Proposed Change 6 (NPS-UD)?

The National Policy Statement-Urban Development (2020) (NPS-UD) introduced requirements for regional councils to amend their Regional Policy Statement to be more responsive to urban development proposals and provide support to intensification of urban areas. Their purpose is to enable additional development capacity, regardless of whether it is planned in existing planning documents, and to contribute to well-functioning urban environments. The NPS-UD also requires local authorities to take into account the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi) in planning decisions relating to urban environments.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is implementing these requirements through Change 6 (NPS-UD) to the Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement.

What is an ‘urban environment’?

‘Urban environments’ are defined by the NPS-UD. These are urban areas that have or are intended to be part of a housing and labour market of at least 10,000 people.

In the Bay of Plenty, urban environments are greater Tauranga (including Te Puke and Ōmokoroa), Rotorua city and Whakatāne township.

What is the scope of Change 6?

Under the NPS-UD we are required to:

  • Take into account Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles
  • Provide criteria for assessing private plan changes for un-anticipated or out of sequence urban development proposals for urban environments
  • Enable intensification of urban environments

What Change 6 doesn’t do:

It is not a spatial plan and doesn’t identify where (or not) urban development will be located. This is the role of a Future Development Strategy and district or city plans.

It doesn’t zone or provide infrastructure for urban development. This is the role of district/city councils through district plan zoning, and infrastructure planning and funding documents.

National Policy Statement on Urban Development (2020)

More information on the NPS-UD can be found on the Ministry for the Environment's website: National policy statement on urban development.

Key changes in Change 6 (NPS-UD)

The National Policy Statement – Urban Development 2020 (NPS-UD) requires BOPRC to amend the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) to be ‘responsive to plan changes that add significantly to development capacity and contribute to well-functioning urban environments’.

A new policy includes criteria to determine if an urban development proposal will ‘add significantly to development capacity’. These apply to private plan changes, and submissions on plan changes or plan reviews. Where the proposal satisfies the criteria, and district or city council must prioritise the decision-making processes around the proposal.

The new criteria follow Ministry for the Environment’s guidance around responsive planning, and relate to:

  • Significance of scale and location of the proposal
  • Fulfilling identified demand for housing and business land
  • Timing of development in relation to planned growth areas
  • Infrastructure provision (development infrastructure and additional infrastructure)

Delete the urban limits in the western Bay sub-region, including policies, Appendices and references relating to urban limits.

There are no urban limits for other parts of the Bay of Plenty region.

The NPS-UD requires regional policy statements to enable increase density in urban environments.

However, relevant district and city councils must also enable higher densities directly in accordance with the NPS-UD, and also apply the Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS) under the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Act 2021. The MDRS will be applied in Tauranga, Te Puke, Omokoroa and Rotorua city.

As a consequence, Policy UG 4A (dwelling yields) is deleted.

The NPS-UD requires planning decisions for urban environments to take into account the principles of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

An existing policy to provide for Papakāinga has been expanded to a ‘Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles’ policy that seeks to enable the development of Māori land. The amended policy also applies existing policy in the Iwi Resource Management section of the Regional Policy Statement to urban development. 

How to make a submission

You can make a submission by downloading the submission form template and sending it to us by email or post. 

Submissions can be emailed to rpschange6@boprc.govt.nz 

RPS Change 6
The Chief Executive
Bay of Plenty Regional Council
PO Box 364
Whakatāne 3158

The closing date for submissions is 4pm on Tuesday 6 September 2022.

For more information on Proposed Change 6 (NPS-UD), please email RPSChange6@boprc.govt.nz or phone 0800 884 880