Developing an integrated regional planning framework

We are reviewing the regional planning framework for Canterbury/Waitaha. This process seeks to align our planning framework with national direction.

The first phase of this work was completed during the second half of 2023 and involved working with Papatipu Rūnanga and engaging with our communities to understand the outcomes we want to achieve together, by asking what they want Waitaha to look like in the future from a social, cultural, economic, and environmental perspective.

What we heard from our communities during that engagement programme will be expressed through policy direction on a wide range of issues, including the integrated management of natural and physical resources, freshwater visions, climate change, biodiversity, landscapes, urban development, and natural hazards.

Reviewing the Regional Policy Statement

Our policy direction will be delivered through a new Regional Policy Statement (RPS) to be notified at the end of 2024.

The RPS is a regulatory tool developed under the Resource Management Act to provide an overview of resource management issues. It sets the policy direction towards the integrated and effective management of natural and physical resources in Waitaha. As well as setting environmental goals, the RPS is required to clarify the roles and responsibilities of regional and district councils in response to environmental issues.

Following on from our mahi in 2023 we will work to review and develop the rest of the regional planning framework. This will include incorporating the Canterbury Land Water Regional Plan (CLWRP), the Regional Coastal Environment Plan, and our specific river regional plans into the integrated framework. We aim to notify the integrated Regional Plan in 2028.

We are working with Papatipu Rūnanga on all aspects of the regional planning framework.

Planning process impacts

We already have an operative planning framework that sets environmental outcomes and provides direction, but it has been in operation for some time now and much has changed, both in terms of the environment itself and what we see as our key challenges and priorities.

Most notably, we now know more about the causes and effects of climate change and how human activities are accelerating its impacts. There is also wider acceptance that we need to take urgent and effective action to mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to our changing environment.

This review will give effect to new legislation, reflect what we know now, and consider whether the desired outcomes in the old plan are still in keeping with our collective aspirations for Waitaha and how well the current framework is working to achieve those outcomes.

Find out what we know about the resource management issues affecting the Canterbury/Waitaha region and its people.

What’s our future, Canterbury - public consultation

Consultation outcomes

Through July and August 2023, we asked you to tell us what we should prioritise by sharing your vision for freshwater and the outcomes we need to work towards achieving together, for our communities’ wellbeing and the environment.

We received a lot of feedback which we are now working through. We will publish summaries of your feedback early in 2024, so you can appreciate the views of others and be informed about the broader picture.

Go to Our future Canterbury consultation website to learn more.

Register your interest for updates

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