Change 1 - Dryland Farming

Plan Change 1 to the Hurunui and Waiau River Regional Plan (PDF File, 5.93MB) is operative.

The plan aims to ensure that dryland farming in the Hurunui Waiau zone is not unreasonably constrained by the rule framework managing the cumulative effects on water quality from land use.

It is the result of a collaborative process led by the Hurunui Waiau Zone Committee.


Change 1 to the Hurunui and Waiau River Regional Plan has been developed and is under review.

Public notification

Change 1 to the Hurunui and Waiau River Regional Plan was publicly notified on 4 May 2019.


Submissions to Change 1 to the Hurunui and Waiau River Regional Plan closed on 31 May 2019.


Hearings commenced on 21 October 2019 - 22 October 2019.


Council made a decision. 


Council’s decisions were publicly notified on 21 March 2020. The appeals period has closed.

Plan operative

Plan Change 1 was approved at a Council meeting on 27 August 2020 and was made operative on 14 September 2020.

Current stage

Previous stages


In 2014 the Hurunui community identified a problem with the suite of plan provisions known as the “10% rule”. In 2017, the Hurunui Waiau Zone Committee embarked on a collaborative process to identify a solution to that problem. Proposed Plan Change 1 is a result of that collaborative process.

Public notifications

Supporting documents
Environmental flows & allocations
Environmental consequences of continuing delay to implementing HWRRP minimum flows Graeme Clark, Jeanine Toplen, Ned Norton, Suzanne Gabites, Hamish Graham, 16 October 2017
Implications of further HWRRP minimum flow deferral on ecological valuesGraeme Clark, Jeanine Toplen, Ned Norton, Kimberley Dynes, Suzanne Gabites, Hamish Graham, 16 October 2017
Hydrological change from implementing HWRRP minimum flowsPeter Brown, 25 September 2017
How might climate change impact on Hurunui flow assessment?Suzanne Gabites and Jeanine Toplen, 20 November 2017
Irrigation reliabilityMark Everest, 4 December 2017
On-farm impact of irrigation restrictionsPeter Brown, 4 December 2017
Actions to improve water quality and biodiversity Amuri Irrigation Company, 20 November 2017
Resource consent (nutrient allocation) decisions
Development of approach to identify N load required to offset dryland farming “10% rule” fix
Nitrogen Concentrations and loads in the Hurunui River at SH1Aqualinc, March 2016
Summary of process to estimate the nitrogen load increase that would need to be offset in the Hurunui catchment as part of fixing the dryland farming 10% rule issueN. Norton; 12 April 2018
Estimating the plausible worst case increase in nitrogen load from a new way of permitting normal dryland farming, that would need to be offset by decreases elsewhere in order to stay within the Hurunui Waiau River Regional Plan (HWRRP) nitrogen load limitN. Norton; 16 March 2018
What is the risk of increase to the area of winter grazing of forage crops if normal dryland farming is permitted?N. Norton (7 March 2018)
Modelling changes in Hurunui and Waiau catchment root zone nitrogen losses from hypothetical scenarios of permitted winter forage development O. Mojsilovic (25 Jan 2018)
What do we know about future nutrient losses in the Waiau catchment from both irrigated and dryland development, and under different assumed amounts of permitted winter grazing of forage crops?N. Norton (29 Jan 2018)
Likely trends of dryland farming as a permitted activity in the Hurunui and Waiau Zone (In the context of water quality discussions).J. Brown (Feb 2018)
Technical progress update: 1) Dryland farming related information, including estimating potential for forage cropping; 2) Outstanding questions on deferral of water takes issueN. Norton (20 Nov 2017)
Estimates of area for winter forage crops in Hurunui and Waiau catchments O. Mojsilovic (6 Nov 2017)
Hurunui and Waiau catchment nutrient calculators P. Brown (6 Nov 2017)
Amuri Irrigation nutrient loads and management P. Brown (1 Nov 2017)
Hurunui River nutrient modelling: impact of dryland intensificationP. Brown (15 March 2015)
AIC approach to N accountingP. Brown (7 November 2017)
A survey of dairy cow wintering practices in Canterbury, New ZealandJ. P. Edwards, K. Mashlan, D. E. Dalley and J. B. Pinxterhuis. 2016
Nitrogen allocation in the Hurunui catchment and its relevance for dryland farming and a draft plan change to fix the 10% ruleN. Norton (28 November 2018)
Consultation material
Consultation Booklet - Farm Plans and catchment accounting, June 2018Canterbury Regional Council, June 2018
Fixing the 10% Rule: issues and optionsCanterbury Regional Council, October 2017
Schedule 1 feedback summaryCanterbury Regional Council, 2018
Zone Committee planning papers (other than those listed under other topic headings)


Independent Hearing Commissioner documents

Indicative Hearing Schedule


2019-10-21 — Waipara Hills Winery

2019-10-22 — Cheviot Trust Hotel
  • Council
  • Hurunui Landcare Group
  • Rural Advocacy Network
  • Lunch
  • Lunch
  • Federated Farmers
  • Amuri Irrigation Ltd
  • Beef + Lamb
  • Planetary Healing Foundation
  • Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
Submitter Documents


No appeals were lodged on the plan change and it is now beyond challenge.