Change 6 Decisions released

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has made its decision to accept recommendations made by the Hearing Panel on submissions to Proposed Change 6 (NPS-UD) to the Regional Policy Statement. The decisions will be released on 12 February 2024 and from this date the change is amended in accordance with those decisions.

Decision documents

Staff Recommendations

Hearing and Post Documents

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 unanticipated 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)

New - Responsive planning policy – urban environments
Deleted - Urban limits in the western Bay of Plenty subregion
New - Increased density urban development – urban environments
Amended - Te Tiriti of Waitangi principles
Further submissions
Tabled and Supplementary Documents
Summary of Decisions Requested
Proposed Change 6 (NPS-UD) notification
For more information on Proposed Change 6 (NPS-UD), please email or phone 0800 884 880.

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.