Draft Regional Policy Statement

View the Draft Regional Policy Statement here.

What is a Regional Policy Statement?

A Regional Policy Statement states the significant resource management issues for the region, and the resource management issues of significance to Iwi authorities in the region. The document then provides Council's responses to those issues in the form of objectives, policies and methods of implementation, but it may not include rules.

The development of a Regional Policy Statement (RPS) is mandatory for Nelson City Council under the Resource Management Act 1991, and must be reviewed every ten years.

Although an RPS contains no rules, it is important because once established, other Nelson Plan provisions developed by the Council (e.g. the district plan components which do include rules) must give effect to it.

The Draft Regional Policy Statement (Draft RPS) for Nelson will therefore guide the development of the rest of the Nelson Plan, which will do things such as set limits for subdivision, building height, earthworks, and discharges to our waterways and air.

The Draft RPS outlines a vision for how Nelson will grow and develop over the life of the Nelson Plan (the next 10-20 years). The draft RPS also outlines cross boundary issues with our neighbouring Councils across the top of the South (Te Tau Ihu) including growth, infrastructure and development, coastal environment, air, and natural hazards.

For more information on what a Regional Policy Statement is required to include, see RMA section 62.

Where are we at?

Following establishment of strategic outcomes for the Nelson Plan, Council has been working with Iwi to develop a Draft RPS.

In November 2015, feedback was sought from the community and over 300 responses were received. A summary of this feedback is available for viewing here (131KB PDF).

These responses have helped guide Council in developing and structuring the Draft RPS. 

RPS topics are divided into chapters, and can be seen in the View the Draft Regional Policy Statement section.

Feedback to the draft RPS was sought in May and June 2016.  A summary of the feedback received can be found here

The views and preferences of the community will be used for a revised version of the Draft RPS, which together with the remainder of the Nelson Plan will be made available for further public input. See the Nelson Plan Timeline.


The Draft RPS sets the following long term vision for Whakatū Nelson:

Whakatū Nelson is a beautiful place to live, where we have worked together and feel connected to the city, the people and the natural environment.

We can choose Whakatū Nelson as our home because the city offers ample opportunities to make a living. Businesses operate successfully now and into the future, and the city is well known as a welcoming place for knowledge-based businesses to thrive. Our city backdrop and coastal area provide world class recreation and tourism opportunities.

A diverse range of people enrich Whakatū Nelson’s vibrant culture, attracted by the well-designed and affordable housing choices, the high quality education and employment options, and the stunning rivers, forests and beaches. Sustainable living is easy thanks to the city’s compact area and form, walking and cycling tracks, and access to renewable energy. Most development is located in existing urban areas rather than on the city’s outskirts.

Read the full version of the vision statement at the start of the Draft Regional Policy Statement discussion document.

Have your say

Feedback on the Draft RPS is now closed.