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 such as the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (NPS-FM), including Te Mana o te Wai.

The first phase of this work involves working with Papatipu Rūnanga and engaging with our communities to understand the outcomes we want to achieve by asking what we want Waitaha to look like in the future from a social, cultural, economic, and environmental perspective.

This will be expressed through policy direction on a wide range of topics, including the integrated management of natural and physical resources, freshwater visions, climate change, biodiversity, landscapes, urban development, and natural hazards.

Regional Policy Statement

Our policy direction will be delivered through a new Regional Policy Statement (RPS) (PDF file, 3.6MB) alongside targeted changes to the Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) (PDF file, 18.3MB), 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 the 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 2024 we will work to review and develop the rest of the regional planning framework. This will include incorporating the LWRP, 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. Our engagement with stakeholders has already started and you will see more in July and August. Once you have signed up, we will let you know how you can share your thoughts on the social, cultural, economic and environmental outcomes you want to see for Waitaha.

Who will this planning process affect?  

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 since then. 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 aspirations for Waitaha and how well the current framework is working to achieve those outcomes.

Having your say

Through July and August 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.

In October, we will be asking you to share your views on our draft visions, outcomes and goals, and help us consider actions to enable those to be met.

Go to Our future Canterbury consultation website to learn more.

Register your interest for updates

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