The RMA provides for a ‘hierarchy’ of policy statements and plans to guide resource management activities and decision-making. These include: at a national level national environmental standards and national policy statements; at a regional level
regional policy statements and regional plans; and at a territorial authority level district plans.
National Environmental Standards are technical standards, issued through regulation, which guide resource management throughout the country.
National Policy Statements enable the central government to prescribe policies on resource management matters of national significance.
Regional Policy Statements provide the broad direction and a framework for resource management within each region.
Regional Plans assist regional councils in carrying out their functions under the RMA and may contain rules controlling the use of resources.
District Plans assist district councils in carrying out their functions under the RMA and may contain rules controlling land use.
Where you are unhappy about the provisions of a regional or district plan, or consider that a regional plan should be prepared to deal with specific issues, you can apply for a new plan to be prepared or an existing plan to be changed.