Media release

Media Statement on Plan Change 7 Environment Court Decision

Wednesday 27 October 2021

The Environment Court has released its interim decision on Plan Change 7 to Otago Regional Council's Regional Plan: Water for Otago.

The Environment Court has released its interim decision on Plan Change 7 to the Regional Plan: Water for Otago.

“We acknowledge that this decision is a pivotal one for the future of water management in Otago, especially given the weight of Te Mana o te Wai and the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020,” said Otago Regional Council Chair Andrew Noone.

“We want to acknowledge the excellent work of ORC’s team involved in this process, and the efforts of all other parties involved, including the financial impact of a long hearing process.

“We understand that the Court’s decision will not rest comfortably with some. It is now time for us to work together to achieve the expectations of the national policy framework for our communities and environment, and to look towards the future,” Cr Noone said.

Over the coming weeks, ORC staff will assess the implications of the Court decision on resource consent applications that are currently being processed, and on future applications. Many applications that are currently in the system are to replace deemed permits, which are historic water rights that expired on October 1.

The council will communicate any impacts from the Plan Change 7 decision with consent applicants. In the meantime, our consents staff are available for assistance if required.

The decision is publicly available to view on the Environment Court website.