New Regional Plan
The Appeals Version of the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland has now been updated to include provisions relating to agrichemicals.
The shading within this version indicates which provisions are subject to appeal to the Environment Court and therefore may change as a result of the appeals process.
The Proposed Regional Plan will not be fully operative until all appeals are resolved. Where a rule in the Proposed Regional Plan has not been appealed, in accordance with Section 86F of the Resource Management Act, it must be treated as operative (and any previous rule as inoperative).
The weighting that will be applied to the objectives and policies of the Proposed Regional Plan versus the objectives and policies of the operative regional plans depends largely on how far through the plan-making process they are. The Proposed Regional Plan (Appeals Version) objectives and policies that are under appeal are marked in grey shading. All other objectives and policies are either not under appeal or have had their appeals resolved by consent order. The objectives and policies that are not subject to challenge will be given greater weight in decision-making than the objectives and policies in the operative regional plans.
In accordance with s 55(2A) of the Resource Management Act 1991, the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland (PRP) has been amended to:
- insert clause 3.22(1) natural inland wetlands;
- insert clause 3.24(1) rivers; and
- insert clause 3.26(1) fish passage
of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020, resulting in new policies D.4.23 and D.4.30 and new objective F.1.4.
The High Court decision  NZHC 3113 (issued 18 November 2021) found that the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Freshwater) Regulations 2020 (NES-F) apply to natural wetlands in the Coastal Marine Area. Plan users are advised to refer to the NES-F provisions when considering undertaking activities on land or in the Coastal Marine Area that might affect a natural wetland. Any provisions of the NES-F that are more stringent than the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland or the Operative Regional Coastal Plan for Northland or the Regional Water & Soil Plan for Northland will prevail over those plans from 18 November 2021.
- The High Court decision is available from our Consent orders page
- The NES-F is available on the Ministry for the Environment’s website: environment.govt.nz
A consent order is an Environment Court order that endorses agreements reached by the parties during mediation and any subsequent negotiations. When appeals are resolved, consent orders will be issued by the Environment Court and will be recorded on the consent orders page. When a consent order contains rules, these rules must now be treated as operative (and any previous rule as inoperative).
Marine protection areas
In May 2023 the Environment Court released its final decision on new marine protection rules for Mimiwhangata and Rakaumangamanga (Cape Brett).
The court decision directs Northland Regional Council to implement the new rules via our Regional Plan, as fishing was shown to have been causing significant disruption and deterioration to the ecosystems.
On 16 June 2020, council agreed to settle the appeal seeking to include provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan regulating the use of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area. This was formally done via a consent order, which was signed off the the Environment Court on 05 August 2020.
Hard copies of all documents are available to purchase
Please contact us on the number above or at [email protected] to organise purchase.
For any further information, call the Policy and Planning Team on: Freephone 0800 002 004.