Plan-making processes

This page reports on the preparation of policy statements and plans, and changes and variations started, underway or completed in 2014/15.

RMA requirements

The processes for local authorities to prepare and change operative and proposed regional policy statements, and regional and district plans are prescribed in the RMA. A variation is a change to a proposed new plan, or a proposed change to an existing plan. Plan changes and variations can be initiated by the local authority or by private request.

When initiated by private request they must either be:

  • accepted (processed by the local authority but paid for privately), or
  • adopted by the local authority (taken on and processed by the local authority).


  • 357 plan-making processes were started, underway or completed.
  • 86 per cent were local authority initiated plan-making processes.
  • 14 per cent of plan-making processes were by private request (13 per cent were accepted by the local authority, 1 per cent were adopted by the local authority).
  • 7 per cent of plan-making processes underway related to combined planning documents.

Drill down into the data using our data tool.

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

Limitations and local authority practices

  • 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 previous and current 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.

Schedule 1 of the RMA