Land and Water Regional Plan


New rules and regulations are being proposed to protect Otago’s precious waterways for future generations.

There will be rules and regulations that would be region-wide. 

There will also be rules and regulations that would be specific to certain areas of Otago.

Join the kōrero on the proposed direction of the Land and Water Regional Plan to care for Otago’s lakes, rivers and streams, and guide the activities that impact them.

Add your voice to the draft Plan with ORC and Kāi Tahu.

Get involved

Read all about the draft Plan and the proposed new rules and regulations, then:

Most important: Give your feedback

Let us know your thoughts on the draft Plan in a short online feedback form. This form is available until 11.59pm, Monday, November 6 2023.

We recommend that you read the proposed rules and regulations and attend a drop-in session or an online discussion before giving your feedback.


Where we are in the process

Draft Land and Water Regional Plan timeline

Find a drop-in discussion (kōrero)



Owaka Memorial Community Centre, 3 Ovenden Street

Wednesday, 4 October

11am-2pm or 3pm-6pm



Maniototo Golf Club, Tyrone Street

Monday, 9 October




Lake Wānaka Centre, 89 Ardmore Street

Monday, 16 October

11am-2pm or 3pm-6pm


Millers Flat

Millers Flat Hall, 1665 Teviot Road

Wednesday, 18 October

11am-2pm or 3pm-6pm



Cross Recreation Centre, 18 Glasgow Street

Thursday, 5 October

11am-2pm or 3pm-6pm



Coronation Hall, 99 Gordon Road 

Monday, 9 October




Cromwell & Districts Presbyterian Church, 10 Elspeth Street

Tuesday, 17 October

11am-2pm or 3pm-6pm



Ophir Peace Memorial Hall, 55 Swindon Street

Friday, 27 October

11am-2pm or 3pm-6pm


Join an online discussion



Online meeting link is here

Add a reminder to your calendar now

Friday, 6 October




Online meeting link is here

Add a reminder to your calendar now

Tuesday, 10 October




The Plan's status

Proposed new rules in the Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) for Otago will give new, comprehensive direction for managing land and water resources in the region. The plan is required in New Zealand law, replacing an outdated Otago Regional Council planning framework that is no longer fit for purpose. The Government’s National Policy Statement on Freshwater 2020 gives effect to new protection for our waterways.

Our planning now must prioritise Te Mana o te Wai, a national policy emphasising that the health of our waterways must come first, above other needs. This national directive applies to all waterways in New Zealand. Our Otago draft plan is one of the first in the country heading towards public notification and a subsequent submission and hearings process from June 30, 2024. Parts of the plan will have legal effect at this time.


Give your feedback

The public engagement between September and November 6 involves communities who use and care about Otago’s lakes, rivers, and streams and who may rely on them for their well-being. Share your thoughts on the draft Plan online. The feedback form is available until 11:59pm, Monday November 6, 2023.

You can read the proposed changes and share your feedback in other ways as well:

  • Come along to a drop-in session near you, ask questions and speak with councillors and staff


  • Join an online discussion



The journey so far

We began this journey in 2019 when the Minister for the Environment asked the Otago Regional Council to prepare a new Regional Policy Statement and Land and Water Plan. Previous planning rules and regulations were no longer deemed fit to provide protection for Otago’s waterways and surrounding environment.

Between 2020 and 2022 we engaged with our community around the visions and values people wanted for our waterways and the land affecting them in this new, more in-depth Plan. We also spoke with communities about actions that would help us reach positive environmental outcomes – these were that Otago's freshwater and land activities need to be:

  • Healthy for plants, animals, and people and look after our region for future generations
  • Safe for activities like swimming
  • Beneficial for activities like fishing
  • Sustainably managed; and
  • Respectful of cultural and historical places.


Proposed new rules and regulations (provisions) have now been drafted, with mana whenua Kāi Tahu. This Plan will align with a government goal to improve freshwater quality within one generation.


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