The National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) came into effect on 17 October 2022. The national policy statement aims to identify and protect highly productive land for primary production, both now and for future generations.
Visit Ministry for the Environment's website for information about the National Policy Statement
What the national policy statement means for Tairāwhiti
The policy statement will impact landowners including tangata whenua, in the areas defined as highly productive land under the national policy statement.
For Tairāwhiti - highly productive land, is the land that is in:
- General Rural Zone or Rural Production Zone and is also
- Within classes 1, 2 and 3 of the Land Use Capability System
This definition of highly productive land remains until we undertake more detailed mapping and identify highly productive land in the Regional Policy Statement part of the Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan (TRMP).
If your property is highly productive land and you're applying for resource consent, the national policy will be considered and may influence what you can do on your property. For example, if you have land that's zone rural production, and you're proposing to subdivide, the proposal will be assessed against the objectives and policies of the national policy statement.
This is significant because the objectives and policies of the national policy statement direct Council to avoid the subdivision of highly productive land, unless it can be demonstrated that the proposed lots will retain the overall productive capacity of the soil over the long term. The application will need to provide an assessment against the objectives and policies of the NPS-HPL.
Does the national policy statement include Māori land?
Yes, the national policy statement includes Māori land. There are significant exclusions identified for specified Māori land. Visit MfE's website for further information
Do I need consent for changing activities in highly productive land in Tairāwhiti?
Any change of land use that requires a resource consent under the TRMP and will also be assessed against the objectives and policies of the national policy statement.
For more information
Ministry for Environment - National Policy Statement - search highly productive land
Ministry for Primary Industries provides information on the national policy statement
Talk to our duty planner to confirm if your land is subject to the national policy statement for highly productive land.
Council will map highly productive land in Tairāwhiti and will include the map in the Tairawhiti Resource Management Plan by October 2025. You will have a chance to provide feedback on this map before its made final.
As part of the review of the TRMP, there may be new policies and rules developed to protect highly productive land in Tairāwhiti. These will be fully consulted on before being made operative.
Staff will engage with the community and tangata whenua at key points throughout this process, prior to the proposed provisions being formally notified.