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Regional Freshwater Plan

Regional Freshwater Plan

Updated 3 August 2020 2:25pm

The Regional Freshwater Plan became operative on 17 December 1999.

Plan change 1 to the Regional Freshwater Plan changed rules relating to access to groundwater on the Kapiti Coast, identified minimum flows and allocation limits for three rivers in the region and made small changes to improve the Plan. It became operative on 17 March 2007.

Plan change 2 to the Regional Freshwater Plan set minimum flows and water allocation limits for the Mangatarere Stream and its tributaries. It became operative on 31 January 2007.

Plan change 3 to the Regional Freshwater Plan sets allocation limits for eight rivers and three groundwater areas in the Wairarapa. It became operative on 11 May 2009.

Plan change 4 to the Regional Freshwater Plan inserted policies to give effect to policies A4 and B7 of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. Plan Change 4 was made in December 2011.

Plan change 5 to the Regional Freshwater Plan implements the decision of the Board of Inquiry for the Transmission Gully Plan Change. It became operative on 25 January 2012.

Plan change 6 to the Regional Freshwater Plan amended policy 5.2.10(a) to give effect to an amendment to policy A4 of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. Plan Change 6 takes effect from 1 August 2014, the date that the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 takes effect. 

You can download a PDF copy of Regional Freshwater Plan, incorporating plan changes 1, 2 3, 4, 5 and 6 from the sidebar at the right of the screen.

The Plan applies to all fresh water in the Wellington region, including water in rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, aquifers and artificial water courses, but excluding freshwater in the coastal marine area. It also applies to all land in river and lake beds.

The Plan identifies issues to be addressed so that fresh water resources can be sustainably managed. Objectives, policies, and methods (including rules) have been adopted to address these issues.

You can browse the Freshwater Plan rules by clicking on the regional rules link at the left of this screen.

What sort of activities does the Plan cover?

The Regional Freshwater Plan applies to all types of activities that use freshwater or that are in the beds of rivers and lakes. Activities covered by the plan include:

  • discharges to fresh water
  • the taking, using, damming, or diverting of fresh water
  • building and modifying structures in river and lake beds
  • disturbing river and lake beds
  • introducing plants to river and lake beds
  • depositing substances on river and lake beds
  • reclaiming or draining river and lake beds
  • development on the flood plain
  • flood mitigation

Our on-line User Guide can help you find the rules or regulations that apply to activities in the Greater Wellington region.

Plan effectiveness monitoring

The Plan effectiveness report for the Regional Freshwater Plan describes the results of monitoring the effectiveness of the policies and methods, including rules, in the Plan. A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the sidebar on the right side of this page.

Regional plans and Policy Statements

Greater Wellington has produced five regional plans: Regional Coastal Plan, a Regional Freshwater Plan, a Regional Soil Plan, a Regional Air Quality Management Plan and a Regional Plan for Discharges to Land.

Regional Policy Statements must also be prepared for each region. They enable regional councils to provide broad direction and a framework for resource management within their regions. The Greater Wellington Regional Council released a second generation RPS in April 2013.

Contact us for more information about the Regional Freshwater Plan.