Otago RPS open for submissions

Hi all,
A good bugger just highlighted the urgent need to submit on the Otago Regional Councils Regional Policy Statement. This Plan sits above the Water Plan and directs what goes into the Water Plan and how it operates.

The website is

Submissions must be in the prescribed form (Form 5) by 3 pm Friday 3 September 2021
All submissions are considered public, including your name and address which will be uploaded to ORC website as part of this process. The Council and further submitters will use your name and contact details for correspondence in relation to the making of the Regional Policy Statement.

Submissions are to be emailed to rps@orc.govt.nz


Thanks Darryl.

Everyone needs to get behind this and make a submission even if you live outside Otago.

Submitted mine today.

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Thnx Darryl, will get one off today. On another note, was just thinking that those dredges who currently have a dredging operation that complies with the permitted activity status, that it might well be worth getting a compliance certificate from the ORC. This way is they change the rules, you can still mine under existing use rights, just an idea.

Gidday Dave. Good to hear from you.

Re a certificate of compliance, these only remain valid for 6months after a plan change so not much benefit really.

What we do need to create is a Gold Dredgers Association.

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Working on it shortly, my waffle will be along the lines that to retain the present permitted activities status for suction dredging that the ORC will need to include extraction in the Regional Policy Statement. In the absence of any negative reports on compliant suction dredging I see no reason that the present status quo cannot be continued with in future district plans.

Im keen to put a submission in i have a small claim in otago and really love dredging and want to keep dredging. I have never done this before and not sure what to write. Any help would be great pm me if you like

This is a tough read, but mining and suction dredging gets a mention on page 88, get worried folks.

and with most rivers being in an outstanding natural feature or landscape the bar is going to be to high to achieve a consent, so is thos actually contrary to the minerals act.

I agree with Daryl above, we need to get organised and a get a mining association sorted, and not just us little folks teir 2 but the big boys in teir 1.

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Question , If they go ahead with this does this mean any one operating under the permitted activity rule will no longer be able to operate without a Resource Consent ? .

What it means is if you are applying for a consent now, the ORC will use the absence of enabling objectives and policies to make the process harder and potentially as justification to decline the consent. It will also mean when the water plan which includes the permitted activity rule is fully reviewed, the permitted activity may well be removed as there is no policy support in the higher order document which directs what and how the water plan is to function.


My submission has been submitted, time to clog up their inbox, every one get their submission in before 3pm today

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Yep and it’s not too late for anyone reading this at the last minute - making your submission should only take 15 minutes. Someone else has kindly filled in the difficult parts

For those who submitted on the Otago region Proposed Regional Policy statement.

You will by now have been advised by the council of the coming hearings. These suggested hearing dates do remain in doubt to some degree as a high court challenge of the validity of the Plan process court decision has not yet been released.

I have submitted on behalf of my employer and intend to present a case that mining should be recognised as a legitimate activity in Otago to the hearing panel. The old RPS acknowleges mining activity but the new version does not. This was no doubt a deliberate removal. The old RPS recognised mining and that supported the permitted activity rule for mining without consent and enabled objectives and policies in the Water Plan to provide for mining. To lose the recognition in the RPS, will mean the Water Plan has no support for dredging without consent or any other landbased mining.

One other mining group have asked me to present on their behalf. I have agreed and will not be charging my time supporting their position. If any other submitters want me to speak to their submission on their behalf please message me with your email address.

If we lose the acknowledgement of mining in the RPS, then we will likely lose dredging without consent (in rivers not in appended in Schedule 7). It will impact land based mining too and already has with a recent consent hearing where the ORC submitted to the CODC suggesting a small scale landbased project be declined on the basis there was no policy support in the proposed RPS.

It is outrageous that miners have to fight for the obvious- that there is a place for mining in Otago.


Hi there. New here and to mining.
How did this all turn out?
Does this mean even if you have a mining permit you have to also get a resource consent (is this only to use machinery or any mining activity at all?)
Is this just Otago or all of NZ?
If RC needed how hard are they making it to obtain?