Media release

Otago Regional Council approves next steps to respond to Ministerial direction

Wednesday 27 November 2019

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) today approved a series of steps to remedy planning issues and respond to the recommendations made by Environment Minister David Parker last week.

Those steps set out the changes needed to put a fit-for-purpose planning framework in place that complies with national policy direction.

ORC Chair Marian Hobbs said the path forward was clear and achievable.

“I’m pleased that we have agreed a way forward. It’s been a long time and some members of the farming community have been put out by a lack of direction. There is now a clear way forward – and we’re not having any Christmas holidays.”

The recommendations considered by the Council were approved unanimously.

Council will immediately commence work on a new Water Permits plan change, to be notified in February 2020. This plan change will enable the efficient processing of remaining water permit replacements while the full planning framework is put into place, as recommended by Minister Parker.

There will be an opportunity to input into this interim plan change before it is taken to a Council workshop in early January. Staff will be sharing more information about this in December.

ORC staff will now prepare a formal response to Minister Parker’s letter outlining the plan to achieve his recommendations for Council’s consideration at a meeting on 11 December.



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