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Te Arotakenga o te Mahere Whakahaere Rauemi o Te Tairāwhiti

Review of the Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan

Te Papa Tipu Taunaki o Te Tairāwhiti | Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan

18 October 2022
E hiahia ana koe kia tīnihia ngā āhuatanga whakahaere mahi i roto i Te Tairāwhiti?
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A review of the Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan (TRMP) is overdue as our current plan is outdated.

Our region has changed due to development, population growth and changing demands on resources.

National direction has also changed - there's a new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 and National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020, and there's more national direction coming.

Most provisions have been in our TRMP for more than 10 years without a review. The Resource Management Act 1991 requires all parts of a resource management plan to be reviewed at least once every 10 years.

  • Protect what’s important.
  • Provide an aspirational and strategic view and direction that reflects the voice of mana whenua and our communities.
  • Enables activities that contribute positively to Tairāwhiti and helps achieve our community outcomes.
  • Respond to future change.

Our current Long Term Plan included significant investment to support a review of the Tairāwhiti Plan and deliver our freshwater planning programme – including Te Mana o te Wai

Timeline for the review

The development of our region's spatial plan Tairāwhiti 2050 provides the vision for Tairāwhiti for the next 30 years. We'll use the feedback we received and the aspirations in Tairāwhiti 2050 to inform the review.

Phase 1 - covers years 1 to 4 and includes 3 workstreams

  • Develop a new Regional Policy Statement to provide the overarching direction and set the scene for the rest of the Tairāwhiti Plan.
  • Continued implementation of regional freshwater planning provisions and catchment plans required under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020.
  • Implement the National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 to support urban growth and development planning, including housing outcomes.

2023-24 - public notification of changes to the Tairāwhiti Plan. This is when we ask for formal submissions on the proposed changes.


Phase 2 - covers years 4 to 8 and will start in early 2024

Phase 2 will include the coastal plan, the remainder of regional plan provisions and the remaining parts of the district plan.

2028 - public notification of proposed changes.

Q. Do we need phase 1 approved before moving to phase 2
  • No, but everything we're doing in phase 1 will shape what happens in phase 2.
  • We'll complete most of phase 1 before starting on phase 2.
  • Submissions on the Regional Policy Statement and the District Plan provisions can be heard by councillors sitting alongside independent commissioners.
  • Submissions on freshwater provisions are required to be heard by an independent freshwater panel appointed by a national freshwater commissioner.
Q. Is the timeline realistic for the review

We have an ambitious work programme for the Tairāwhiti Plan review but we’ve put a lot of thought behind it.
We’re confident that with external support we’ll be in a favourable position to deliver on the agreed milestones.

Why we need to do this review

Government has been very clear that we need to go ahead with our current policy work programmes under the RMA.

National direction supports local decision-making under the RMA. It's provided by national policy statements, national environmental standards, national planning standards and section 360 regulations.

For more information on the national direction is available on Ministry for the Environment's website

Central government has been very clear that councils should push ahead with their current policy work programmes under the RMA. Transitioning into the new system will take some time (potentially up to 10 years).

There'll be opportunities to align current policy work developed under the RMA with the new system.

Council will remain engaged in the process and work closely with the Ministry for the Environment and mana whenua to ensure that implications of the reform are understood and the Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan aligns with the new direction.

An up to date Tairāwhiti Plan means we can make better decisions about our natural resources and the built environment, which reflect the aspirations of iwi and the community.

Reviewing and keeping the Tairāwhiti Plan up to date is also a legal requirement. Under the RMA, councils must review  regional policy statements, regional plans, and district plans every 10 years.

Does the spatial plan need to be refreshed to feed into the review of the Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan, or does it happen without being refreshed?

Tairāwhiti 2050 (Spatial Plan) is our vision for the next 30 years and provides a good base to launch the review of the Tairāwhiti Plan. This includes:

  • identification of our region’s key challenges
  • our communities’ aspirations, which will provide direction for developing resource management policy.

We intend to refresh the Spatial Plan to reflect the outcomes of the Tairāwhiti Plan review and meet the new requirements of the Strategic Planning Act which is under development.

  • The updated Spatial Plan will create a more detailed picture of where infrastructure and urban development should go, and priority areas for restoring biodiversity and for optimising land uses.

How to get involved