Media release

ORC makes decision on proposed Regional Policy Statement for Otago

Wednesday 28 September 2016

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) today resolved to notify its decision on the proposed Regional Policy Statement (RPS) for Otago.

In doing so, councillors accepted the recommendations of the hearing panel which heard and reviewed submissions made by the Otago community.

ORC director of policy, planning, and resource management Fraser McRae said the RPS is the overarching document for local government under the Resource Management Act (RMA).

For Otago, it will replace the existing RPS, in place since 1998, and sets out how ORC will achieve integrated management of the region’s natural and physical resources.

City and district councils in the region have to give effect to the RPS when making planning decisions, and factor in the likely environmental, economic, cultural, and social effects of those decisions.

Mr McRae said these councils and ORC had liaised closely during the current review.

“The RPS is written for the whole region, hence we have consulted with a broad range of groups, and received good feedback from the general public. It is a high-level, big picture document,” Mr McRae said.

“There’s been a positive participation from a number of stakeholders, including local authorities, iwi, Fish and Game, DoC, and other groups in the process.”

ORC received 156 submissions on the notified proposal. Early next month submitters will be notified by letter of the council’s decision in relation to their submission. They then have 30 working days to appeal it to the Environment Court if they so desire.

Once any appeals are dealt with, or if there are no appeals, the proposed RPS will go to the incoming 2016-2019 council for approval before becoming operative, Mr McRae said.

For more information contact

Fraser McRae
Director policy, planning, and resource management
Ph 03 474 0827 or 0274 900 903