Changes to the District Plan can be initiated privately or by Council. All plan changes go through a process of public notification and are open for submissions.
Making a Submission
The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) allows you to make a submission on a publicly notified proposed plan, plan change or plan variation if you think it will affect you in some way. This is one way to get involved in council decisions that affect the environment.
To make a submission you must complete a Form 5 - Submission on a Plan. Your submission must be received at Council before the closing date and time on the notification advertisement.
Council will publish a summary of the submissions received. Following this there will be an opportunity to make further submissions supporting or opposing submissions already made. Please note that you can only make a further submissions if you represent a relevant public interest or if you have an interest greater that the general public.
If anyone asks to be heard in support of their submission, a hearing will be held. After considering all submissions Council will publish its decision on the variation including the reasons for accepting or rejecting submissions. Any submitter may appeal the Council's decision to the Environment Court.
If no appeals are received or once any appeals are resolved then the Council ratifies the plan change at a full Council meeting. This is then publicly notified and the plan change has operative status from (at least) 5 days after the public notice.
Read more about the plan change process by clicking on the following link to the Ministry of the Environment's Everyday Guide to the RMA Series.