Proposed Otago water and waste plan changes – online information session

Friday 24 July 2020

Are you wondering what the recent proposed changes to Otago’s water and waste plans might mean for you? Are you thinking about making a submission?

ORC is hosting an online information and question session about the proposed plan changes on Tuesday, 28 July at 7pm. To join the meeting click here

If you would like to submit questions to be answered at the meeting, please email them to

For anyone who can’t make this session, it will be recorded and added to our website.


Key information about the proposed plan changes

Proposed Water Permits Plan Change

  • Provides parameters for applications for resource consents for taking, using and discharging water, including applications to replace expiring deemed permits. It includes a proposed duration for new water permits.

Proposed Water Quality Plan Changes (Omnibus)

  • The proposed plan changes include new policies and rules that:
  • Strengthen policy direction for assessing resource consent applications for discharges of stormwater, wastewater and contaminants from rural land uses
  • Improve minimum standards for effluent storage systems and discharges of effluent to land
  • Promote good farming practice for high-risk practices, through:
  • introduction of controls on intensive winter grazing
  • exclusion of dairy cattle and pigs from lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands
  • Provide for the use of sediment traps in intermittently flowing rivers
  • Strengthen provisions for managing sediment loss from earthworks for residential development
  • Clarify policies relating to the establishment of regionally important infrastructure in wetlands
  • Introduce improved controls on the use of dust suppressants
  • Strengthen the policy direction for assessing resource consent applications for landfills


The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) notified the following three Otago proposed plan changes on 6 July 2020:

  • The Water Quality/Omnibus Plan Changes (Plan Change 8 to the Water Plan and Plan Change 1 to the Waste Plan) that strengthens water quality provisions in line with national legislation.
  • The Water Permits Plan Change that deals with replacing expiring water permits and directs a duration for new water permits.

Submissions are open until 17 August 2020.

The EPA is notifying the plan changes because the Minister for the Environment “called them in”. This will speed up the process for these “quick fixes” to our current plans, so staff can focus on the development of a new Regional Policy Statement and a new Land and Water Regional Plan.

Please note that the Water Permits Plan change was notified by ORC in March 2020, but because the Minister called in the plan changes during the submission process, it is being re-notified. All submissions on this plan change, whether submitted to ORC or to EPA, will be considered together.