Consultations are an important part of the democratic process. They're a formal way of having your voice heard. Consultations are our key way of getting feedback from communities in Otago, and they guide the outcomes of our policies, plans, and strategies for Otago.

We want to know what you think about proposed plans, policy statements or plan changes. How will they impact you? Do the proposals work for your community? What do you like about the proposals? What do you think needs to change?

This page is about consultation on plans and policy statements that are required by the Resource Management Act. Find out what consultations are open now, how to have your say, and what happens after that.


The five stages of the consultation process

Council drafts a proposed plan, policy statement or plan change.

This includes consulting with relevant ministries, local authorities, and iwi.

Generally, councils will undertake some form of consultation prior to notification.

After the draft is notified the public can make submissions supporting or rejecting the proposed plan, policy statement or plan change.

The submissions period is open for:

  • 20 days for a proposed plan change
  • 40 days for a proposed policy statement
  • 40 days for a proposed plan

If a hearing is required, it will be held after the submissions period is closed. 

Submitters who have indicated they want to speak about their submission will have the chance to do this at a hearing.

You do not need to attend a hearing but it is helpful if the panel has questions for you. Your submission is considered exactly the same irrespective of whether you speak or not.

The recommendation of the hearing panel can be accepted or rejected during a 'decision notified' stage.



Council will consider submissions and other evidence and finalise the plan. Notifications will be sent to all stakeholders.

If you are unhappy with the final decision you can make an appeal.  This may result in mediation or hearings via the Environmental or High courts. If no appeals are received the proposed plan will commence.

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