Regional Policy Statement for the Wellington region
The Regional Policy Statement (RPS) sets out the framework and priorities for resource management in the Wellington region. The Resource Management Act 1991 (the Act) requires all regional councils to produce an RPS for their region and review it every 10 years.
A core purpose of the Act is “sustainable management of natural and physical resources”. In this context, sustainable management means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Operative Regional Policy Statement
The second generation Regional Policy Statement for the Wellington region (RPS) was made operative on 24 April 2013. Copies of the RPS in full or in sections can be downloaded from the toolbar on the right.
The RPS identifies the regionally significant issues around the management of the regions natural and physical resources and sets out what needs to be achieved (objectives) and the way in which the objectives will be achieved (policies and methods). Regional and district plans and the Regional Land Transport Strategy are required to give effect to the policies 1-34 of the RPS, and to consider policy 35-60.
The RPS also sets out a series of methods that the Wellington Regional Council and its partners will undertake, and how the RPS will be monitored to see how the anticipated results of its policies are being achieved.
The operative Regional Policy Statement (RPS) for the Wellington region was developed by the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), beginning in 2005 with a review of the 1995 RPS and then significant work collaborating with the other councils in the Wellington region.
The initial review culminated with the release of a draft version of the RPS for public comment in March 2008. Details of this process can be found here. Newsletters on the review were also released from 2007 to 2009.
Notification of the RPS
Following the discussions on the draft document, the RPS was officially proposed in March 2009, allowing the public to make formal submissions on the document. The submission process closed on 25 May 2009, with a summary of all submissions being made available on 11 July. On 8 August, the opportunity to provide further submissions closed.
Hearing and decision
Following close of submissions, a staff report was prepared for each chapter, section or provision of the proposed RPS that were submitted on. This report included a summaries and discussions of the submissions, and recommended decisions and changes to the proposed Regional Policy Statement as a result of the submissions – see below for volumes 1 and 2 of the report.
The proposed RPS then went to hearing between 3 and 16 November 2009. Decisions on submissions made by the hearing panel were approved by the Wellington Regional Council on 18 May 2010 and publicly notified on 22 May 2010. For more information on the hearing, click here.
Information on the “decision version” of the proposed RPS, including changes as a result of decision made at hearing, was released in May 2010 and can be found here.
Appeals on the proposed RPS
Following the release of the “decision version” of the proposed RPS, appeals on fourteen issues in the proposed RPS were lodged with the Environment Court. Between 2010 and 2012, the GWRC worked with mediators at the Environment Court and all appellant and interested parties to resolve these appeals. By the end of 2012, consent orders confirming the resolution of all appeals were received, meaning that the need to for any appeals to be heard in Court was avoided.
A “consent orders version” of the proposed RPS, with consent orders shown in tracked changes, can be found here. Please note that this version is unformatted and contains some numbering and editing errors which have been updated in the final operative version.
Approval of the RPS
Following the resolution of all appeals, the Wellington Region Council confirmed on 26 February 2013 to make the RPS operative in April 2013. Following publishing and printing, the RPS was formally made operative on 24 April 2013.
Previous versions of the RPS
Method 20 of the Regional Policy Statement states that GWRC will develop information to assist with the identification of places, sites and area with significant historic heritage values.
A guide to historic heritage identification, the Historic Heritage User Guide aims to help people understand the different types of historic heritage values associated with places, sites and areas. The guide contains criteria for assessing historic heritage values and the significance of places in a regionally consistent way and in a common language that everyone can understand and use. The criteria are designed to be used by local authorities, community groups and others to evaluate the significance of historic heritage places, sites and areas in accordance with policy 20 of the RPS.
What is historic heritage?
The Resource Management Act 1991 and the proposed Regional Policy Statement define historic heritage asthe natural and physical resources that contribute to an understanding and appreciation of New Zealand’shistory and cultures, deriving from any of the following qualities:
Historic heritage includes:
- Historic sites, structures, places, and areas; and
- Archaeological sites; and
- Sites of significance to MÄori, including wahi tapu; and
- Surroundings associated with the natural and physicalresources
Why is historic heritage important?
Historic heritage provides a connection to those who lived before us. It helps us define who we are and contributes to our sense of place. Once destroyed, it cannot be replaced. Our history is found in both the tangible physical remains and in the intangible values associated with our ancestors.
How do I identify historic heritage?
This guide includes advice to help you identify historic heritage, including the need for a full and accurate understanding of a place’s history, and to evaluate all aspects of its significance. The criteria help ensure that nothing is overlooked.
The Wellington Region Landscape Atlas has been developed to support local authority initiatives associated with implementing policies 25 and 27 and method 50 of the Regional Policy Statement.
This Wellington Region Landscape Atlas is part of the Wellington Region GIS Database - an initiative to assist regional and district council staff and their professional consultants in making landscape character assessments.
The atlas has been developed from selected datasets within the overall geodatabase, and compiles landform, land cover, land use and landscape management spatial data across the Wellington Region and 25km beyond its boundary where available.
The Atlas is available to view in hard copy from Regional Council offices in Wellington and Masterton, or download it below.
About the Wellington Region GIS Database
The Wellington Region GIS database has been developed in collaboration with the eight territorial authorities of the Wellington region and the adjacent regional and district authorities in the Manawatu-Wanganui region (Figure 1.)
The full Database comprises the landscape atlas, a geodatabase of all the compiled land form, land cover, land use and landscape management datasets and a Wellington region landscape 3D visualisation feature. The latter contains selected datasets which can be viewed using Google Earth.
It is designed to support local authority initiatives associated with implementing the proposed Regional Policy Statement policies 24 (Identifying outstanding natural features and landscapes) and 26 (Identifying significant amenity landscape values) and method 49 (Prepare a regional landscape character description).
Regional landscape character description studies
Regional landscape character description studies have been produced for the Wairarapa and Hutt Valley. These landscape descriptions describe and categorise the landscapes to assist with identifying outstanding natural features and significant amenity landscapes.
Full copies of these landscape character descriptions can be found at the links below.
The Section 32 Reports summarise the Council’s evaluation of:
- the extent to which each objective is the most appropriate way to achieve the purpose of the Act; and
- whether, having regard to their efficiency and effectiveness, the policies and methods are the most appropriate for achieving the objectives.
Eleven reports have been prepared by Greater Wellington. Each Report addresses a topic covered by the Regional Policy Statement and can be downloaded here. If you would like a hard copies please contact the publications officer on 04 801 1094, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Get in touch
- 0800 496 734