Policy and planning documents
At Greater Wellington Regional Council, we have a number of planning documents that provide details on our functions and goals and how we plan to achieve them:
In accordance with the Local Government Act 2002, Greater Wellington Regional Council is required to prepare the following:
Long Term Plan
The Council must prepare and adopt a long term plan every three years. Greater Wellington Regional Council adopted its current Long Term Plan in June 2021, following a special consultative procedure. The plan details the work programmes that will be undertaken between 2021-2031 to meet the needs of the region and includes forecast annual budgets for the ten year period. It also details several Council policies that relate to significance and engagement, financial management, and rates remission and postponement.
Our Long Term Plan must be reviewed every three years. The Long Term Plan may be amended at any other time, although only after following the special consultative procedure. The Council would only amend the Long Term Plan if it contemplated a significant change to the work programme, or the purchase or disposal of a significant strategic asset.
Council will engage on the Long Term Plan at various points throughout its development, and will undertake a formal consultation process, which includes the receiving and hearing of formal submissions. The formal consultation process usually takes place between April and June of the year the Long Term Plan is adopted.
Greater Wellington Regional Council must adopt its next Long Term Plan by 30 June 2024, which will cover the 2024-34 period.
Each year Greater Wellington Regional Council prepares and adopts an Annual Plan. The Annual Plan sets out the budget and work programme for the year. It also outlines the key projects for the financial year. It also outlines the key projects for the financial year.
The first year of a Long Term Plan serves as the Annual Plan for that year. The budget and work programme for the second and third years of the Long Term Plan are reviewed and updated through the Council's Annual Plan for those years.
The Annual Plan is only required to be formally consulted on where it is significantly different from what is included in the corresponding year of the Long Term Plan. Council's Significance and Engagement Policy is used to determine the level of significance and whether formal consultation is required. Where a formal consultation is required, the process usually takes place between April and June, with the final Annual Plan adopted by 30 June of the year in which it commences.
Council must adopt a number of policies in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002 relating to:
- Significance and Engagement
- Appointments of Directors to Council Organisations
- Rates remission and postponement
- Funding, financial, revenue, financing, and liability
These policies are routinely reviewed and updated as required. The Significance and Engagement Policy is currently under review. As part of this process, we will consult with the community on the propsed changes.
Regional Policy Statement
The regional policy statement is prepared under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). It sets out the objectives, policies and methods to achieve the integrated management of natural and physical resources across the Wellington region. All district and regional plans must give effect to the regional policy statement. Resource consents must have regard to it.
The regional policy statement also sets out a series of methods that Greater Wellington Regional Council and its partners will undertake monitoring of the regional policy statement in order to see how the anticipated results of its policies are being achieved.
The RMA requires a review of provisions in the regional policy statement every ten years, and must be done in accordance with section 79 of the RMA.
A regional council may prepare one or more regional plans for its region. The purpose of these plans is to assist the regional council in carrying out its functions under the RMA, which is to ensure that natural resources are sustainably managed. A regional council must prepare a regional coastal plan (applying below mean high water springs) but other regional plans are optional.
Greater Wellington Regional Council’s current regional plans include:
Regional Plan for Discharges to Land - This plan became operative in 1999 and was amended in 2003.
Regional Soil Plan - This plan became operative in 2000 and was amended in September 2003.
Regional Coastal Plan - This plan became operative in 2000.
Regional Air Quality Management Plan - This plan became operative in 2000 and was amended in September 2003.
Regional Freshwater Plan - This plan became operative in 1999 and was amended in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Resource Management Charging Policy
The Resource Management Charging Policy contains the regime for resource management charges in the Wellington region. The charges cover the costs of processing consent applications, consent monitoring charges, and cost recovery charges associated with environmental incidents.
Regional Pest Management Plan
The Regional Pest Management Plan outlines Greater Wellington Regional Council’s 20 year plan to manage regionally significant pest plants and animals. The purpose of the Plan is to provide a strategic framework for managing selected pest animal and plant species in the Wellington region to minimise the actual and potential adverse and unintended effects of pests on the environment, economy and the community. The Plan also aims to maximise the effectiveness of individual pest management through a regionally co-ordinated response.
The Regional Pest Management Plan must be reviewed every ten years, and must be done in accordance with section 100D of the Biosecurity Act 1993.
Floodplain Management Plans
The following plans detail the Council’s priorities for flood protection works for specific rivers in the region and set a vision for managing those river corridors in relation to recreation and environmental matters. The plans have a 40 year planning horizon with planned reviews every 10-15 years.
- Hutt River Floodplain Management Plan
- Ōtaki River Floodplain Management Plan
- Pinehaven Stream Floodplain Management Plan
- Upper Ruamāhanga Floodplain Management Plan
- Waikanae River Floodplain Management Plan
The following floodplain management plans are under development:
- Waiohine River
- Waiwhetu Stream
There are also several documents that relate to the management of the small watercourses in the Western part of the Region
Greater Wellington Toitū Te Whenua Parks Network Plan
The Greater Wellington Toitū Te Whenua Parks Network Plan (the Toitū Te Whenua Parks Network Plan) sets the direction for managing regional parks and forests (parks) in the Wellington Region. It provides a common framework for addressing issues that arise in the different parks. The plan highlights the unique nature and values of individual parks. It represents an understanding between Greater Wellington Regional Council and the community about the way in which the parks network should be managed.
The Toitū Te Whenua Parks Network Plan covers:
- Akatarawa Forest
- Battle Hill Farm Forest Park
- Belmont Regional Park
- East Harbour Regional Park (the area between Eastbourne and Wainuiomata, Parangarahu Lakes Area, Baring Head/Ōrua-pouanui)
- Kaitoke Regional Park
- Pakuratahi Forest (includes Remutaka rail trail)
- Queen Elizabeth Park
- Wainuiomata Regional Park
Toitū Te Whenua Parks Network Plan became operative on 10 December 2020.
Hutt and Wainuiomata/Orongorongo Water Collection Areas
The Hutt and Wainuiomata/Orongorongo Water Collection Areas are key strategic areas in the Wellington Region as these areas supply 60 percent of the metro drinking water. There is a management plan in place, which outlines how Greater Wellington and Wellington Water Limited work together to protect this crucial water catchment.
Parangarahu Lakes Area Co-Management Plan
The Parangarahu Lakes Area is located along Wellington’s south-east Coast and features the nationally significant Lake Kohangapiripiri and Lake Kohangatera, their associated wetlands and the culturally significant dendroglyph (tree carvings).
Greater Wellington and Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust jointly manage the Parangarahu Lakes Area through a ‘Rōpū Tiaki’ or guardianship group set up in 2012. The Co-Management Plan is a guiding document which sets the vision, guiding principles, historical context, management objectives and priority actions for management of the Parangarahu Lakes Area
Whitireia Park Management Plan
The Whitireia Park Management Plan was developed over a period of two years with extensive input from the community and others with an interest in the park. The plan was approved by the Whitireia Park Board in November 2015 and Department of Conservation in February 2016 under the Reserves Act 1977.
Regional Land Transport Plan
A Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) is the blueprint for a network that will keep the Wellington region vibrant, on the move and enable it to grow and meet future needs.
The RLTP sets the direction for the Wellington Region's transport network for the next 10-30 years. The RLTP describes our long-term vision, identifies regional priorities, and sets out the transport projects we intend to invest in over the next six years.
Regional Public Transport Plan
The Wellington Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) sets the direction for public transport in the region for the next 10 years. It gives effect to the public transport service components of the Wellington Regional Land Transport Plan, and aims to deliver an efficient, accessible and low carbon public transport network for the people of the Wellington Region.
CDEM Group Plan
The Wellington Region Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Plan (2019-2024) came into effect on 21 June 2019 and is a statutory requirement under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 (the CDEM Act). It provides the strategic direction of the CDEM Group.
The aim of the plan is to provide for a co-ordinated and integrated approach to the way significant risks and hazards in the Wellington region are managed. This will help ensure the community's social, economic, cultural and environmental well-being, as well as safety of people and property. The plan sets the direction for Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) in the Wellington region.
Section 48 of the CDEM Act requires each CDEM Group to prepare and approve a civil defence emergency management group plan for its area. Section 52 of the CDEM Act also requires that the proposed CDEM Group Plan be publicly notified and submissions invited from interested persons and or organisations.
CDEM Group Plans are developed through a consultative, multi-agency, all-hazards approach, incorporating the '4Rs' of reduction, readiness, response and recovery. Plans have a five-year operational period mandated by the CDEM Act. CDEM Groups have well-established processes for planning, monitoring and review of documentation.
Additional Emergency Management documents
The CDEM Group Plan is supported by various strategies and plans.
The Annual Plan provides the how, where and when. The Annual Plan (with its companion strategies) provides the direction along with the operational plans of the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office's CDEM partners (Councils, Lifeline and Welfare organisations, and Emergency Services).
For more information regarding Civil Defence Emergency Management publications contact the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office.
Climate Change Strategy
Climate change is the biggest environmental challenge we face and will affect everyone in the region.
Hemmed in to the south, east, and west by the sea, the Wellington Region is particularly vulnerable to even a small rise in sea level, and coastal hazards such as erosion and storm surge.
With help from the community, the Greater Wellington Regional Council has developed a Climate Change Strategy that will align and coordinate climate change actions across Greater Wellington's responsibilities and operations.
It aims to build on work programmes already underway, raise awareness of climate change drivers and impacts, and help co-ordinate regional effort through collaboration and partnerships.
Port & Harbour Risk Assessment and Safety Management System
In conjunction with Marico Marine and CentrePort, Greater Wellington Regional Council completed a risk assessment for Wellington harbour in 2006. The harbour risk assessment was a result of Maritime New Zealand recommending that New Zealand ports adopt similar standards to those developed in the United Kingdom, known as the Port and Harbour Safety Code. The code is intended to assist port operators (CentrePort) and regulators (Greater Wellington Regional Council) identify real and potential risks to all users of the harbour and to manage these risks.
Greater Wellington Regional Council has also developed the Wellington Regional Navigation Safety Bylaws for the safe for safe use of the harbours and waters across and around our region.
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