Drivers of plan-making processes

This page reports on the drivers of plan-making processes. 

RMA requirements

Changes to local authority policy statements and plans can be driven by matters such as:

  • the requirement in the RMA to review provisions every 10 years
  • new issues arising
  • new or amended national direction (national environmental standards and national policy statements).


  • The most commonly cited drivers of plan-making processes were:
    • plan review identified the need for alteration – 18 per cent
    • new issue emerged (eg, a need to manage new residential growth pressures) – 14 per cent
    • technical amendments were required – 11 per cent.
  • The following drivers accounted for fewer than 8 per cent of all plan-making processes:
    • efficiency and effectiveness monitoring identified issue for change – 7 per cent
    • results from state of the environment monitoring – 2 per cent.
  • No plan-making processes were driven by an Environment Court direction.
  • 20 per cent of territorial authorities’ district plan-making processes related to rezoning of land.
  • 88 per cent of all territorial authorities’ plan-making processes driven by decisions on private plan changes related to rezoning of land.
  • 59 per cent of regional plan-making processes related to land use and/or water management.

Drill down into the data using our data tool.

Download the complete dataset for plan-making [Excel, 545 KB].

Limitations and local authority practices

  • An individual plan-making process may have more than one driver and address more than one subject matter.
  • One local authority did not provide data on the preparation of policy statements and plans, changes and variations.
  • Due to the differing nature of previous survey data, no meaningful comparisons between current and previous data can be made.

See the Act

For more information on the RMA related to this page see the following section of the Act on the New Zealand Legislation website.

Section 79 of the RMA