Proposed Water Permits Plan Change (Plan Change 7)

Otago Regional Council (ORC) proposed a plan change to the Regional Plan: Water for Otago to add an objective, policies and rules that manage the replacement of expiring deemed permits and water permits. The plan change is the first step in the transition from the Regional Plan: Water for Otago to a new “fit for purpose” Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP).

The Water Permits Plan Change (WPPC - Plan Change 7) seeks to strengthen the plan’s existing policy framework, in advance of undertaking a comprehensive review of the Regional Plan: Water. The full review of the plan and development of the LWRP is programmed to be completed and notified by 31 December 2023.

We notified the WPPC in March 2020, but during the submission period, the plan change was “called in” by the Minister for the Environment. This means it will now be re-notified by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and, once the submissions period has ended, the plan change will be passed to the Environment Court for hearings, speeding up the process. All submissions received by ORC have been passed on to the EPA to be included in their notification and submission process.

Q&A about the Water Permits Plan Change.

Notification and submissions

The EPA has now re-notified the plan change by issuing a Notice of Direction. Anyone can submit to the EPA up until 17 August 2020 at www.epa.govt.nz/ORCplanchanges

ORC has engaged a “Friend of the Submitter” to help the community with how to lodge a submission to the EPA. Emma Spalding can be contacted, free of charge, at friend@orc.govt.nz or 027 696 1009 from 10am-12pm and 7-8.30pm on each working day during the notification period. She can help guide you through the submission process, give advice on how to capture your views, and explain what happens after your submission is lodged. She cannot help you with the content of your submission.

If you previously submitted to ORC on this plan change, you don’t need to write another submission because we will pass it on to EPA. However, if you have thought of something else you want to include in your submission, you can submit again to the EPA. Irrespective, all submissions, whether they were direct to ORC or to the EPA, will be collated and summarised as one by the EPA.

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