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Regional Rules

Regional Rules

Updated 7 July 2015 7:42pm

The rules (and other methods) in the Plan implement the policies, as required under section 67(1)(c) of the Resource Management Act (1991).

The rules have the force and effect of regulations in statute, which means they are legally binding. They determine whether a person needs to apply for a resource consent or whether the proposed activity can be undertaken without one (known as permitted activities). The rules may also make some activities prohibited, which means there can be no resource consent application for that activity. An activity needs to comply with all relevant rules in the Plan, unless the rule itself states otherwise.

Generally the plan does not repeat provisions from National Environmental Standards or Regulations – these must be read in conjunction with the plan provisions.

There is a strong relationship between the status an activity is given in a rule in a Plan and the effects sought to be managed by the policies and the environmental outcomes sought to be achieved by the policies and objectives.


  • Permitted activities do not require a resource consent provided they comply with any performance standards or conditions specified for that activity. The performance standards have been designed to adequately manage the expected effects of an activity. Permitted activity rules are intended to enable good management practice.
  • Controlled activities require a resource consent so that specific assessment of identified matters can be undertaken, and resource consent conditions adequate to manage the effects of an activity can be proposed. An application for a controlled activity must be granted.
  • Restricted discretionary and discretionary activities can be declined or granted (with or without conditions) depending on the effects of the activity.
  • Non-complying activities are generally inappropriate, though there may be an exceptional case when a resource consent for a non-complying activity can be granted.
  • Prohibited activities are not appropriate in any circumstance, and no resource consent application may be made for a prohibited activity.

To make it easier to apply for resource consents and to reduce the number of separate resource consents required to undertake any particular activity, this Plan has, where practicable, adopted the concept of ‘rule bundling’. Rule bundling is used in this Plan to combine several permissions which may be required under section 9 and sections 13 to 15 of the Resource Management Act (1991) into one rule. One application for resource consent can therefore be made under the bundled rule.