Freshwater Planning Instrument Parts of Proposed Otago Regional Policy Statement (PORPS) 2021


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Public Notice


Freshwater Planning Instrument components


Documents and resources

Non-freshwater parts of PORPS

Help and further information


Public Notice

Read the Public Notice.



In June 2021, ORC publicly notified its proposed regional policy statement. At that time, the Council had determined that the whole of the PORPS was a freshwater planning instrument.

In its Judgment (Otago Regional Council v Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Incorporated [2022] NZHC 1777) dated 22 July 2022, the High Court declared that the Council’s determination that the whole of the PORPS is a freshwater planning instrument was wrong.

The High Court instructed the Council to satisfy itself as to which parts of the proposed regional policy statement qualify as part of a freshwater planning instrument because they relate directly to the maintenance or enhancement of freshwater quality or quantity.

Read more about the High Court judgment

Since receiving the Judgment of the High Court, the ORC has applied the approach set out in the Judgment, and at its meeting on 15 September 2022 Council determined that the parts of the Proposed Otago Regional Policy Statement 2021 set out below are those that directly relate to the maintenance or enhancement of the quality or quantity of freshwater as defined in section 80A (2) of the Resource Management Act 1991 and therefore comprise a freshwater planning instrument.


Freshwater Planning Instrument components

Updated 30 September 2022, 14:09: There was an error in the original table which has been replaced. The new table below aligns with Council’s resolution of 15 September 2022.



Interpretation Definitions:
Certified freshwater farm plan
Drinking water
National Objectives Framework
Natural Hazard works
Other infrastructure
Specified infrastructure
Specified rivers and lakes
Wetland utility structure
LF-WAI LF–WAI–O1 – Te Mana o te Wai
LF–WAI–P1 – Prioritisation
LF–WAI–PR1 – Principal reasons – Paragraph 1
LF-VM LF–VM–O2 – Clutha Mata-au FMU vision
LF–VM–O3 – North Otago FMU vision
LF–VM–O4 – Taieri FMU vision
LF–VM–O5 – Dunedin & Coast FMU vision
LF–VM–O6 – Catlins FMU vision
LF–VM–P5 – Freshwater Management Units (FMUs) and rohe
LF–VM–P6 – Relationship between FMUs and rohe
LF–VM–E2 – Explanation
LF-FW LF–FW–O8 – Fresh water
LF–FW–O9 – Natural wetlands
LF–FW–P7 – Fresh water
LF–FW–P9 – Protecting natural wetlands
LF–FW–P10 – Restoring natural wetlands
LF–FW–P15 – Stormwater and wastewater discharges
LF–FW–M6 – Regional plans
LF–FW–M7 – District plans
LF–FW–M8 – Action plans
LF-FW-E3 – Explanation (paragraph 2)
LF-FW-E3 – Explanation (paragraph 5)
LF–FW–PR3 – Principal reasons
LF-LS LF–LS–P18 – Soil erosion
LF–LS–P21 – Land use and fresh water
LF–LS–M11 – Regional plans
Maps MAP1



Submissions can only be made on those the parts of the PORPS listed in the table above.


Submission period

Opening date: 30 September 2022.

Closing date: 3:00pm on Tuesday 29 November 2022.


Who can make a submission

The following persons may make a submission on the proposal:

  • the local authority, in its own area; and
  • any other person, but if the person could gain an advantage in trade competition through the submission, then the person may do so only if the person is directly affected by an effect of the proposal that—
    • adversely affects the environment; and
    • does not relate to trade competition or the effects of trade competition.


How to make a submission

Submissions must be in the prescribed form (Form 5) specified by the Resource Management Act and must be received by Otago Regional Council by 3:00 pm Tuesday 29 November 2022. The submission must state whether you wish to be heard in support of your submission.

Lodge a submission manually (using the form below):

A template complying with the requirements of Form 5 is provided below, which you can download and fill in. Form 5 can be found in the Resource Management Regulations 2003.

Form 5 template (Word version).


Once completed, please forward it to ORC by one of the following means:

Email: (submissions in MS Word or another editable format are preferred).

Post: Otago Regional Council, Private Bag 1954, Dunedin 9054. Attn: ORC Policy Team.

Hand delivery at:
Dunedin: Otago Regional Council Office, Level 2 Philip Laing House, 144 Rattray Street, Dunedin, Attn: ORC Policy Team.
Queenstown: Terrace Junction, 1092 Frankton Road, Queenstown, Attn: ORC Policy Team.
Alexandra: William Fraser Building, Dunorling Street, Alexandra. Attn: ORC Policy Team.



Phone: ORC Call Centre: 0800 474 082, Monday - Friday, 8am-5pm


Notes to person making a submission

If you are a person who could gain an advantage in trade competition through the submission, your right to make a submission may be limited by clause 6(4) of Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act 1991.

Please note that your submission (or part of your submission) may be struck out if the authority is satisfied that at least one of the following applies to the submission (or part of the submission):

  • it is frivolous or vexatious
  • it discloses no reasonable or relevant case
  • it would be an abuse of the hearing process to allow the submission (or the part) to be taken further
  • it contains offensive language
  • it is out of scope of the Freshwter Planning Instrument
  • it is supported only by material that purports to be independent expert evidence but has been prepared by a person who is not independent or who does not have sufficient specialised knowledge or skill to give expert advice on the matter.


Did you make a submission on the RPS in 2021?

The recent decision of the High Court means that any submission on any of the provisions listed in the table above is now null and void.

If you made a submission on any of those parts of the PORPS listed above, and you wish to continue to be a submitter on those provisions then you must make a new submission.

The period for making a new submission (only on those parts listed above) closes on 29 November 2022.


Documents and resources

Freshwater Planning Instrument

The PORPS that was publicly notified on 26 June 2021 has been edited to now clearly identify those provisions or parts that ORC has determined are those that directly relate to the maintenance or enhancement of the quality or quantity of freshwater as defined in Section 80A (2) of the Resource Management Act 1991 and therefore comprise a freshwater planning instrument.


Section 32 Report

The previously notified Section 32 Report has been edited to clearly identify those parts that relate directly to the Freshwater Planning Instrument parts of the PORPS.

Read the edited Section 32 report


Additional material

The provisions identified as forming the Freshwater Planning Instrument (FPI) were originally notified in June 2021. Submissions were made on them, and officers prepared section 42A reports responding to those submissions and recommending changes to the provisions. As a result of the High Court declaration, the notification of those provisions was deemed to be invalid. The corresponding submissions and section 42A reports are also invalid and have no status.

However, Council is aware that there has been considerable work done by parties and officers over the past year. To assist parties now considering the FPI, a background report has been collated of material that was prepared as part of the (now invalid) processes to date. This document has no legal weight but does present all of the work done by parties and officers over the past year. It is hoped that submitters build on this work in their new submissions, rather than starting afresh.

The additional material is available here.


Non-freshwater parts of PORPS

For completeness, the High Court determined that the balance of the PORPS could continue through the normal Part 1 of Schedule 1 Resource Management Act process without renotification. If you made a submission on the PORPS, you can find more information on the Non-freshwater parts of the PORPS, including the Hearing, here.


Help and further information

Council has appointed two ‘friends of the submitter’ to assist with understanding the Freshwater Planning Process and to provide guidance on making a submission. This is a free service offered by ORC.

Their contact details are:

Jane White – 03 332 7449 or 027 259 5303 or email

Charlotte Wright – 021 986 783 or email


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