What’s in the plan

The new National Planning Standards outline what must be in a plan. This is a consistent format that is to be applied across the whole of New Zealand. The chapters that we must include in Te Tai o Poutini Plan are listed below:

Introduction, National Direction and How the Plan Works

This section will explain how the Plan relates to the RMA, national and regional level policy and other laws. It will outline the resource consent process and what information is required. It will include a guide on how resource consents are assessed and how the different parts of the plan relate to each other.     

Tangata Whenua

This chapter will outline the key relationship with Poutini Ngāi Tahu and how the Plan addresses the Treaty of Waitangi. It will provide information on the hāpu on the West Coast and the Councils’ relationship with them. It will explain how hāpu and iwi planning documents are addressed within the plan and the process for ongoing involvement and participation of Poutini Ngāi Tahu in implementing the plan. 

Strategic Direction

This section of the plan will outline the significant resource management issues for the three districts. It will set the strategic direction for the plan in relation to:

  • Urban form and development
  • Biodiversity and natural heritage management
  • Climate change
  • Mining
  • Natural hazards
  • Tourism

Energy Infrastructure and Transport

This section will deal with critical infrastructure for the West Coast and how this is managed through the Plan.  There will be Objectives, Policies and Rules and it will address nationally and regionally significant infrastructure such as transmission lines, state highways and electricity generation as well as local infrastructure such as access to local roads, parking, stormwater, wastewater and water supply.  

Hazards and Risks

This section will set out how these important matters are managed. It will include chapters on contaminated land, hazardous substances and natural hazards. This section will include Objectives, Policies and Rules.

Historical and Cultural Values

This section will focus on the unique cultural heritage of the West Coast. Important heritage buildings and sites will be identified, as will notable trees and sites of significance to Poutini Ngāi Tahu. As well as identifying the important sites, this chapter will outline how they will be managed, the process of engagement with Heritage New Zealand and Poutini Ngāi Tahu and what rules apply to their modification.

Natural Environment Values

This section will include the provisions for ecosystems and indigenous biodiversity, natural character, natural features and landscapes and public access. It will identify the specific features and places on the West Coast that are important to those values, including any Outstanding Landscapes or Significant Natural Areas. It will also include the Objectives, Policies and any Rules for the management of these areas.  


This section will contain the rules for subdivision as well as how and where Esplanade Reserves are identified and provisions for financial contributions, where these are needed to ensure sufficient infrastructure is in place to support development.  

General District Wide Matters

This section will include the Objectives, Policies and Rules for some general matters which cut across the districts. This includes:

  • Activities on the surface of rivers and lakes
  • Management of the coastal environment – including coastal natural hazards
  • Earthworks
  • Light
  • Noise
  • Signs
  • Temporary Activities

Zones and Development Areas

This section is the heart of a district plan as it has the provisions for how residential, commercial and industrial activities are managed within the towns, settlements and rural areas. It will include the Performance Standards that Permitted Activities are required to meet as well as provide the rules for how things like new industry or visitor accommodation are allowed to be developed.