Implementing the first set of national planning standards

This page explains key aspects of the implementation process for the first set of national planning standards.

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What implementation timeframes apply to the first set of planning standards?

The Implementation Standard specifies the timeframes that apply to the first set of planning standards. Different timeframes apply to different planning standards and different local authorities.

  • all councils must meet basic electronic accessibility and functionality requirements within one year from when the planning standards come into effect.
  • regional councils have three years to adopt the standards for their regional policy statements, and ten years for their regional plans
  • unitary councils have 10 years to adopt the planning standards
  • city/district councils generally have five years to adopt the planning standards, with seven years for the definitions standard. A smaller group (list 1) who have recently completed a plan review have seven years to make changes, and nine years for definitions.

If a council undertakes a full plan review within these timeframes the new plan must meet the planning standards when it is notified for submissions.

There are also different timeframes for online interactive plans. Local authorities generally have five years, though some have seven years (list 2), regional councils and unitary councils, and city/district councils with under 15,000 ratepayers (list 3) have 10 years to comply with the requirements.

List 1:     Councils who have seven and nine years to adopt the planning standards

Christchurch City Council

Dunedin City Council

Hurunui District Council

Invercargill City Council

Kāpiti Coast District Council

Opotiki District Council

Queenstown-Lakes District Council

South Taranaki District Council

Thames-Coromandel District Council

Any territorial authorities committed to a combined district plan (through a council resolution, MOU or similar statutory obligation) under section 80 (3) of the RMA.

List 2:     Councils who have seven years to obtain an online interactive plan (ePlan)

Christchurch City Council

Dunedin City Council

Invercargill City Council

Kāpiti Coast District Council

Queenstown-Lakes District Council

Thames-Coromandel District Council

Any territorial authorities committed to a combined district plan (through a council resolution, MOU or similar statutory obligation) under section 80 (3) of the RMA.

List 3:     Councils who have ten years to obtain an online interactive plan (ePlan)

Central Hawke's Bay District Council

Central Otago District Council

Clutha District Council

Gore District Council

Hauraki District Council

Hurunui District Council

Kaikoura District Council

Kawerau District Council

Mackenzie District Council

Manawatu District Council

Matamata-Piako District Council

Opotiki District Council

Otorohanga District Council

Rangitikei District Council

Ruapehu District Council

South Taranaki District Council

South Waikato District Council

Stratford District Council

Tararua District Council

Waimate District Council

Wairoa District Council

Waitaki District Council

Waitomo District Council

Process for making plans compliant

The majority of the standards are made up of ‘Mandatory directions’ this means that local authorities must amend their policy statements and plans to be consistent with the requirements of the planning standards without going through a normal RMA Schedule 1 process (notification, submission and hearings etc).

Local authorities may also make consequential amendments, required as a result of implementing the standards, without an RMA Schedule 1 process.  Consequential amendments (under RMA section 58I(3)(d)) are additional amendments that are required to remove duplication, or conflict in policy statements/plans. Where the proposed changes go beyond consequential amendments a RMA Schedule 1 process must be used. We intend to provide guidance on what can be considered a consequential change.

The amendments required to implement mandatory directions in a planning standard must be publically notified once they have been made to inform the public that this has been completed.

There is only one standard that includes ‘Discretionary directions’. This is the Zone Framework Standard. 

 

Reviewed:
05/04/19