Media release

More time for submissions on ORC’s Water Permits Plan Change recognises Covid-19 impacts

Wednesday 1 April 2020

The ORC Chief Executive is exercising delegation to extend the submissions period until 4 May.

Otago Regional Council (ORC) Chief Executive Sarah Gardner has today extended the submission period for the Water Permits Plan Change in acknowledgement of the pressures of Covid-19 being felt throughout the community.

“The stress of lockdown is a challenge for all, and I am very aware of how that impacts our communities and their priorities.

“As a result, I have decided to exercise my delegation and have extended the timeframe on the submissions process for the Water Permits Plan Change 7 to 4 May 2020. It is my hope that those who wish to make a submission will find this extra time of some relief.

“I fully recognise people are balancing new demands for families and businesses in this lockdown situation. Working together with our community is more important now than it may ever have been, and this is a small way in which I can assist,” Mrs Gardner said.

The Proposed Water Permits Plan Change, or Plan Change 7, was notified for submissions on 18 March.

The proposed plan change provides an interim measure to give those who take freshwater from Otago waterways short-term permits based on how much water they are currently using.

This plan change actions one of the recommendations made by Minister for the Environment David Parker to resolve the issue of deemed permits (historical water rights) before their expiry in 2021.

The proposed plan change and submission information can be can be viewed online at:

Guidance on how to make a submission can be found at:

The original closing date for submissions on the Water Permits Plan Change was 17 April.