Otago’s draft regional policy statement will be notified for public submissions tomorrow

Anyone can have their say on Otago’s proposed regional policy statement until September 3.

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) will notify its proposed Otago Regional Policy Statement 2021 (RPS) tomorrow, entering a ten-week consultation period during which the public is invited to provide comments.

The RPS identifies important resource management issues for Otago and provides high-level advice through policies and goals. It also helps explain how the national guidance on resource management will be applied in the context of Otago and provides guidance on how to balance potentially conflicting requirements.

The notification of the new RPS follows the Minister of the Environment, the Hon. David Parker’s recommendation made in 2019, after a review of the ORC’s freshwater management planning regime.

ORC Chairman Andrew Noone said the RPS notification was an important step.

“The RPS describes what we want for Otago, what is preventing us from achieving this and how we are going to resolve these issues. Considerable work from staff, governance and stakeholder reference groups has gone into this document, and I am very proud of what has been achieved within a tight deadline.

The ORC understands that this RPS is the first to be notified at the national level since the publication of the National Policy Statement for the Management of Freshwater 2020, with its requirement to give effect to Te Mana O Te Wai, and d ” Include freshwater visions for each freshwater management unit. It is also the first RPS to be developed under the new national planning standards.

“This RPS is a major step towards the implementation of a planning framework adapted to the management of fresh water. I encourage anyone interested in the future management of natural and physical resources in Otago to take a look at the proposed RPS and let us know what you think, ”said Cr Noone.

After the consultation period, the proposed RPS will go through the new freshwater planning process introduced by amendments to the Resource Management Act 1991 last year. This process includes a public bid hearing, conducted by a Freshwater Hearing Panel.

Following its deliberations, the hearing committee will make recommendations to Council. The Board is required to consider these recommendations and may accept or reject them before making its decisions on the new RPS.

To find out more, view the draft regional policy statement and make a submission, visit our website at www.orc.govt.nz/rps
from Saturday June 26 to Friday September 3 at 3 p.m.

What is the Regional Policy Declaration?

The Regional Policy Statement (RPS) sets the direction for the future management of Otago’s natural and physical resources. It describes what we want for Otago, what is preventing us from achieving it and how we are going to resolve these issues.

The RPS does not contain rules. Instead, it establishes the framework for Otago regional and district plans into which policies, objectives, and resource management rules will be integrated.

It includes the following contents:

  • Mana whenua
  • Important problems in the management of the region’s resources
  • Integrated management
  • Air
  • Coastal environment
  • Land and fresh water
  • Ecosystems and native biodiversity
  • Energy, infrastructure and transport
  • Dangers and Risks
  • Historical and cultural values
  • Natural features and landscapes
  • Urban form and development

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