What is the coastal plan?

    The coastal plan is the ‘rulebook’ for managing and regulating activities in the coastal marine area.

    It sets out the objectives, policies, rules and methods the Waikato Regional Council will use to manage our region’s natural resources.

    How does the coastal plan affect me?

    The coastal plan affects every person who lives, works and plays by or on the sea and at our beaches.

    It contains objectives, policies and rules that manage and regulate things like:

    • structures, including seawalls, jetties, wharfs and moorings
    • extraction of sand and other minerals
    • discharges of contaminants to water and air
    • aquaculture activities
    • protection of sensitive environments, biodiversity and landscapes (seascapes)

    Why is the coastal plan being reviewed?

    The coastal plan became operative in 2005.

    The Resource Management Act (RMA) requires the council to review the coastal plan every 10 years to update its provisions. We also need to take into account any legislative changes and national and regional policy direction, including the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, reviewed in 2010.

    Analysis of the current coastal plan has highlighted the need to make the plan easier to understand as we’ve been told it’s difficult to meet, monitor and enforce. We also need to plan for challenges like climate change and coastal erosion and inundation, and provide for our region’s growing aquaculture industry.

    The coastal plan also needs to incorporate Treaty of Waitangi settlement legislation and include provisions that recognise and provide for

    • iwi/hapū relationships to ancestral lands/sites as well as taonga resources in the coastal marine area.
    • relevant statutory acknowledgement areas, including Customary Marine Title and Protected Customary Rights areas.
    • the role of iwi/hapū as kaitiaki for key coastal resources, including mahinga kai sites.

    Essentially, the coastal plan review gives us the opportunity to address the issues and gaps with the current plan to make our Waikato even better.