Otago’s Future – Review of the Regional Policy Statement

9 May 14

The Otago Regional Council (the ORC) is inviting the public to get involved in how Otago’s resources are managed in the future. The ORC has begun a review of its Regional Policy Statement (the RPS) and has published an ‘issues and options’ document for consultation, with feedback due by 5pm on Friday 20 June 2014. This is an opportunity to have your voice heard and influence policy before the reviewed RPS is formally notified. There will be another chance to be involved after that notification by lodging a submission on the reviewed RPS and attending the Council hearing.

The RPS’s purpose is to provide an overview of the resource management issues in Otago and state policies and methods that achieve integrated management of Otago’s resources. The RPS provides the overarching direction for changes to regional and district plans because those plans must “give effect” to the RPS. This means that the RPS has wide ranging effects on people and communities because to a certain extent it will set out how regional, district and city councils manage their resources (e.g. using water, subdividing, land use etc.). City and district councils are also reviewing their district plans and consulting on similar topics to the RPS. If you are interested in the RPS review you should consider engaging in both review processes.

The ORC is holding a series of public meetings and drop in sessions to provide information about the review and the process. The meeting schedule is included at the end of this article. 

The RPS review will cover a diverse range of topics including:  protecting the natural environment and unique ecosystems; efficient use of natural resources; minimising impacts on the environment; managing unavoidable effects; recognising interconnections between different parts of the environment; having quality and choice in our built environment; making better urban areas; encouraging compact development; getting access to enjoy our surroundings; protecting heritage features and landscapes and sites of cultural significance; adapting to climate change; dealing with natural hazards and preventing them from becoming worse; responding to fuel and energy pressures; managing infrastructure; using finite resources (such as high class soils and local supplies of aggregate and gravel) wisely; and separating incompatible land uses. If any of these topics interest you, you might consider providing feedback to the ORC on the ‘issues and options’ document. 

For instance, the ‘issues and options’ document poses the following questions:

Adapting to climate change, whether the RPS should:

·         Provide direction, such as specific standards for sea level rise;

·         Promote development of water storage;

·         Ensure that infrastructure is designed to adapt to future changes, including through future upgrades.


Dealing with natural hazards, whether the RPS should:

·         Avoid development in hazard prone areas;

·         Promote a precautionary approach that focuses on reducing the effects of natural hazards;

·         Adopt mitigation measures;

·         Rely on market forces by recognising the role of valuation and insurance.


Responding to fuel and energy pressures, whether the RPS should help reduce dependence on fossil fuels by:

·         Promoting compact settlements and transport infrastructure that cater for different modes of transport, (including public transport, walking and cycling);

·         Enabling efficient use of fuel and energy resources, including new technologies;

·         Relying on market forces to determine the response.


Encouraging compact development, whether the RPS should:

·         Prioritise development in locations where services and infrastructure already exist over those that require new or extended services and infrastructure;

·         Let market forces regulate land use.


Separating incompatible land uses, whether the RPS should protect community health and safety by:

·         Minimising risks generated by the use and storage of hazardous substances;

·         Minimising risks associated with contaminated land;

·         Separating more sensitive populations from activities that adversely affect health.

Anderson Lloyd is a leading provider of legal services to businesses, institutions and organisations throughout the country relating to regional planning issues. For further information on the RPS review and its implications for you, or if you require assistance to provide feedback to the ORC, contact one of our specialist resource management team.

The ORC public meetings or drop in sessions are:







Queenstown Mon 19 May 5:30 – 7:30 pm

RPS Launch and public meeting

St John Ambulance Hall,
10 Douglas St, Frankton

Tues 20 May 9:00 am – 12 noon Drop–in session
Alexandra Tues 20 May 5:30 – 7:30 pm Public meeting

Stadium Tavern, The Cellar Room, 143 Centennial Ave

Wed 21 May 9:00 am – 12 noon Drop-in session
Dunedin Thurs 22 May 5:30 – 7:30 pm Public meeting

Dunedin Public Art Gallery,
30 The Octagon

Fri 23 May 9:00 am – 12 noon Drop-in session
Oamaru Mon 26 May 5:30 – 7:30 pm Public meeting

Brydone Kingsgate Hotel,
115 Thames St

Tues 27 May 9:00 am – 12 noon Drop-in session
Balclutha Wed 28 May 5:30 – 7:30 pm Public Meeting

Town and Country Club,
1 Yarmouth St

Thurs 29 May 9:00 am – 12 noon Drop-in session

PDF version : Otago’s Future – Review of the Regional Policy Statement