Regional Policy Statement Review

Otago’s Regional Policy Statement is under review and has been made partially operative.

The Partially Operative Otago Regional Policy Statement 2019 can be found here. The new proposed RPS aims to ensure Otago’s natural and built resources are managed well – now and for the future.

Well-managed resources provide for Otago’s social, economic, cultural, and environmental wellbeing; community health and safety; and for future generations.

How does the proposed RPS affect you?

District and regional councils need to give effect to the RPS when making district or regional plans, or making decisions about resource consents. This means that the proposed RPS affects what people and communities can and cannot do when using natural resources, subdividing or developing land, or undertaking a land use activity.

The Regional Policy Statement sets the direction for future management of Otago's natural and physical resources. It provides the foundation for development of regional plans and district plans.

The process so far

The proposed Regional Policy Statement was publicly notified on 23 May 2015. A total of 156 submissions and 42 further submissions were received. The hearing panel heard or received evidence from 88 submitters in November 2015.

The panel deliberated from December 2015 to September 2016.

The council released its decisions on Saturday 1 October 2016. The appeal period closed on Friday 9 December 2016, and 26 notices of appeals were received.

People then had the opportunity to lodge and serve a notice under section 274 of the Resource Management Act 1991, to become a party to the proceedings. This period closed on Monday 23 January 2017.

ORC, appellants, and section 274 parties negotiated throughout 2017 on the issues raised in appeals. Two issues were not resolved through negotiations and became the subject of Environment Court hearings.

Resolved matters became the subject of 19 separate memoranda and associated court orders, lodged with the Environment Court through the first half of 2018. The Court has granted 17 of these consent orders.

The two appeal points that were not resolved out of court concerned ports, and mining and indigenous biodiversity offsetting. These appeals were heard by the Environment Court in February 2018.

The mining and indigenous biodiversity offsetting decision has not yet been released.

An interim decision on the Ports topic was released on 28 September 2018. The decision has been appealed to the High Court, and a hearing has been set down for 5-6 June 2019.

View and download documents

Copies of the following documents are also available directly from the ORC.

Appeals closed on Friday 9 December 2016. The period for lodging notice to become a party to proceedings under section 274 of the Resource Management Act 1991 closed on 23 January 2017.

The following version of the Regional Policy Statement incorporates the relief requested by appellants against each provision, for consideration in consenting and policy development processes.

Proposed Regional Policy Statement for Otago - Council Decisions Version - Appeals marked in

Further information about the appeals process is available on the Ministry for the Environment website here.

Section 41C Report (following hearing of submitters)

Section 42A report on decisions requested

This report, which summarises the assessment of the decisions requested by submitters and further submitters was prepared in accordance with Section 42A of the RMA.

Summary of Decisions Requested incorporating further submissions - by provision

This document summarises the submissions and further submissions received, grouped by provision.

Summary of Decisions Requested - by submitter

This document summarises the submissions received, grouped by submitter.

Summary of Decisions Requested - by provision

This document summaries the submissions and further submissions received, grouped by provision.

Summary of Decisions Requested - beyond the scope

Proposed RPS document

You can also view this document in hard copy at public libraries

Section 32 evaluation report

This report considers the cost and benefits of the proposed RPS

RPS Brochure

A brochure giving a brief overview of the proposed RPS

RPS Public notice

A public notice giving a brief overview of the proposed RPS


This document provides some further detail about common questions

In May/June 2014 an Issues and Options document providing a background to the RPS issues was distributed throughout Otago and public meetings were held to hear the community’s views.

One hundred and fourteen feedback forms were received.

This feedback, along with input from Otago's district and city councils and key stakeholders, was used to assist preparation of the consultation draft of the Regional Policy Statement.

Regional Policy Statement Review presentation May/June 2014

Otago's future: Issues and Options document May 2014

The RMA requires Otago Regional Council to consult with a number of parties before the Proposed RPS is notified (Clause 3 of the First Schedule of the RMA).

We received 48 written comments and met with a range of organisations, leading to further changes being made to the consultation draft.

RPS Consultation Draft

Consultation feedback received

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