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Waikato Regional Plan

Cover of Waikato Regional Plan

On this page:  Plan variations, ordering the Waikato Regional Plan, providing feedback.

>> Click here to read the Waikato Regional Plan online

>> Click here to read about the Waikato Regional Plan review.

The Waikato Regional Plan contains policy and methods to manage the natural and physical resources of the Waikato region. The plan implements the Regional Policy Statement. To find out about rules that apply to particular activities refer to the activity guide within the plan.

About the Waikato Regional Plan

Plan status

The Waikato Regional Plan is operative in full.

We have commenced a review of the Regional Plan which we are calling "Healthy Environments - He Taiao Mauriora." This is an integrated review which also includes a review of the Regional Coastal Plan and will give effect to the Regional Policy Statement and National Directions. For more information on the plan review or to subscribe to updates click here.

We are looking to migrate to a new online “eplan” platform in the second half of 2019. This will be aligned with Government’s National Planning Standards - click here. We anticipate this will provide an improved ability to search and navigate the plan. The current operative Regional Plan will be formatted differently. No changes will be made to the content unless we are required to make changes as part of the National Planning Standards.

What area does the plan cover?

The plan applies across the whole of the Waikato region, although some objectives, policies and rules apply only in specific parts of the region.

The plan does not apply to the coastal marine area (CMA) below mean high water springs.  For objectives, policies and rules in this area refer to the Regional Coastal Plan.

What does the plan contain?

The plan contains objectives, policies and implementation methods for:

  • matters of significance to Maori
  • water quality, flows and levels
  • water takes
  • efficient use of water
  • discharges
  • damming and diverting
  • wetlands
  • drilling
  • non-point source discharges
  • structures on the beds of rivers and lakes
  • river and lake bed disturbance
  • accelerated erosion
  • discharges onto or into land
  • contaminated sites
  • air quality
  • spray drift
  • cross boundary processes
  • monitoring and review
  • information requirements for resource consents.

Proposed Plan changes

Proposed Plan Change 1 to the Waikato Regional Plan seeks to reduce the amount of contaminants entering into the Waikato and Waipā catchments to achieve our Vision and Strategy/Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato of making the river swimmable and viable for food collection along the entire length of the river. The Vision and Strategy was adopted by the Government as part of Treaty Settlement legislation.

For the latest on proposed Plan change 1, click here

Historical Plan variations

Variation No.2 (Geothermal module), Variation No. 5 (Lake Taupo catchment) and Variation No. 7 (Geothermal Maps and minor changes) are incorporated into the online version of this plan.

Variation 2 – Geothermal Module: Notified in August 2003. Decisions on submissions were notified in June 2004. The Waikato  Regional Council received a number of appeals to the decisions. All these appeals have now been resolved. Variation No.2 – Geothermal Module became operative on Friday, 7 November 2008. 

Variation 5 - Lake Taupo catchment: The Waikato Regional Council proposed a variation to protect water quality in Lake Taupo by managing land use and nutrient discharges.

The Environment Court confirmed the provisions of this variation on Friday, 17 June 2011. The variation became operative on Thursday, 7 July 2011.

Variation 6 - Water allocation: The Waikato Regional Council proposed a variation to manage the allocation and use of fresh water over all of the Waikato region.

The Environment Court confirmed the provisions of the variation in February 2012. The variation became operative on Tuesday, 10 April 2012.

Find out more about the water allocation variation.

Variation 7 - Minor variations and geothermal maps: The purpose of Variation No. 7 was to make minor changes to improve the workability of the plan and to amend the plan's maps showing significant geothermal features and geothermal water features. This variation became operative on 8 December 2010.

Variation 2 (Geothermal module), Variation 5 (Lake Taupo catchment), Variation 6 (Water Allocation) and Variation 7 (Geothermal Maps and minor changes) are incorporated into the online version of this plan. 

Providing feedback

As a user of our policy and plans, help us improve our Waikato Regional Plan.  Please contact us with your feedback, or to report any errors or inconsistencies.