The Proposed Otago Regional Policy Statement 2021 (Proposed RPS 21) sets the direction for future management of Otago's natural and physical resources.

This page records progress on the submissions and hearing process for the Proposed ORPS 21 (Non-freshwater parts). 

What does a Regional Policy Statement do?

The Regional Policy Statement (RPS) sets out what we want for Otago, what is stopping us achieving this, and how we will solve these problems. The Proposed RPS 21 identifies the significant resource management issues for the region. It also explains how national direction on resource management will be applied in Otago and provides direction on how to balance potentially conflicting requirements.

The Proposed RPS 21 (pORPS21) doesn’t contain rules like a regional or district plan. Its role is to provide high-level guidance by way of policies and objectives and establish the framework for Otago's regional and district plans in which more specific resource management policies, objectives and rules will sit.

A summary of the process so far

Submissions and further submissions on the Proposed RPS 21 (Non-freshwater parts) are now closed. Council has appointed a hearing panel to hear all submissions and make recommendations to Council.

RPS Hearings Process

Click here for information on the RPS hearings process.

The Hearing Panel provides information on the hearings process. This generally takes the form of Minutes that are available from the link above. As well as uploading Minutes to the ORC webpage, the Hearing Panel also uses ORC’s existing 'Address for Service' list so, if you are a submitter or a further submitter, please keep us updated with any changes to your contact details.

Documents and Resources

Regional Policy Statement

The Proposed Regional Policy Statement was notified on 26 June 2021.

  • Read the Proposed RPS 21 ePlan  (see below for help with using the ePlan)
  • Read the Proposed RPS 21 as a PDF
  • Microsoft Word version available on request by emailing
  • Read the public notice here


Excluded Parts of Proposed RPS 21

At its meeting on 15 September 2022 the Council determined that parts of the RPS 21 were directly related to the maintenance and enhancement of freshwater and therefore comprised a freshwater planning instrument. Those parts must now be excluded from consideration under the Schedule 1 to the Resource Management Act process. The excluded parts are listed in this table.

  • Read the edited RPS 21 (Non-freshwater) as a PDF

Section 32 Report

The Section 32 Report provides the reasoning supporting the notified Proposed RPS 21:

Summary of decisions requested

The summary of the decisions requested (SoDR) summarises the decisions requested by submitters on the Proposed RPS21. Named 'SoDR with Further Submissions and Errata', this report includes all submissions received as well as all further submissions received on those submissions. It does not include submissions without an address for service (recorded in Part B of the original SoDR).


The documents below do not include further submissions.

Submissions and Further submissions

Summary of Process so far

Date Action
26 June 2021 Proposed Otago Regional Policy Statement is notified. Submissions period opens.
3 September 2021 Submissions period closes.
September to October 2021 ORC staff develop the 'Summary of Decisions Requested'.
30 October 2021 'Summary of Decisions Requested' is notified, and further submissions called for.
12 November 2021 Further submissions period closes.
17 November 2021 The 'Summary of Decisions Requested – Corrigendum' is notified to allow further submissions on submission points that were incorrectly transcribed in the 'Summary of Decisions Requested'.
1 December 2021 Further submissions process for 'Summary of Decisions Requested – Corrigendum' closes.
4 May 2022 ORC pORPS Section 42A report released
22 July 2022 Otago Regional Council v Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand decision issued.
24 August 2022 Council appoints pORPS (Non-freshwater parts) hearing panel.
30 September 2022 ORC publicly notifies the freshwater planning instrument parts of the pORPS21. The remainder of the previously notified pORPS21 is subject to the Schedule 1 RMA processes.
3 October 2022 Non-freshwater Hearing Panel issues Minute 1.
7 October 2022 Council releases on its website the updated s42A Report.
21 October 2022 Non-freshwater Hearing Panel issues Minute 2.
27 October 2022 Non-freshwater Hearing Panel issues Minute 3.
30 November 2022 All primary evidence available on website
30 November 2022 Notice of Hearing issued
19 December 2022 All rebuttal evidence available on website


High Court Declaratory Proceedings

When ORC notified the Proposed RPS 21, it was satisfied that the Proposed RPS 21 is a freshwater planning instrument in accordance with the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). Questions were raised whether the Proposed RPS 21 is a freshwater planning instrument in terms of section 80A of the RMA.

To resolve these questions, ORC brought proceedings in the High Court in Dunedin under the Declaratory Judgments Act 1908. 

View all related documents here.

Help and further information

Read about the review process

Read more about the development of the Proposed RPS 21 here


  • pORPS Hearing Process – Email for all matters in relation to the hearing process, including updates to registered submitter contact details.
  • General pORPS matters (not hearing process related) - Call 0800 474 082 or email us at for non-hearing matters.

Guidance documents

Page last updated 14 July 2024.