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Bay of Plenty water rules and consents

This message is to let you know about changes to water access rules and what they mean for your orchard. 

The rules 
To address the increasing pressure on the Bay of Plenty’s water sources, the Natural Resources plan that relates to water quantity has been updated and water allocation limits strengthened (these changes are called Proposed Plan Change 9). 
Water takes that were previously permitted, and therefore didn’t require resource consent, may now need to get consent.

Permitted activities
Limited amount of water use is allowed on every property as a permitted take. However these permitted takes will still be subject to conditions including registering of take detailing location, purpose of take etc… See flow chart Do I need a resource consent? 

  • Groundwater: Under the new rules, it’s based on property size, groundwater takes from properties greater than 5 ha taking less than 35m3 (35,000L) per day at a rate no more than 2.5 l/sec will not trigger the requirement for resource consent. Those under 5 hectares must not exceed 15m3/day. 
  • Surface water: As per the current rules, surface water takes from properties of any size extracting at a rate no more than 2.5 l/sec and not exceeding 15m3 (15,000L) per day will not trigger the requirement for resource consent.  

Resource consent process
If above these thresholds, you will need to apply for a consent. The clearer you describe what you want to do and where you want to do it, the easier the process of lodging an application will be. See here for a guidance document on how to apply for a water consent. 

Cultural effects assessment 
A key aspect to any resource consent application is the assessment of effects. With 7 iwi and 260 hapū in the Bay of Plenty this process can seem daunting. However, the Council can help you make contact by providing contact details for the relevant iwi and hapū to get the process around cultural effect assessments started. A useful document on cultural effects assessments can be found here.
NZ Avocado can also provide some guidance based on previous consent communications. 

Further information 
Some common questions the Council has already received around consent requirements can be found here

You can find all information on resource consent requirements for ground and surface water on the BOPRC website here. Or by giving the BOPRC Duty Consents Officer a Call on 0800 883 880 or email unconsentedwatertakes@boprc.govt.nz

Contact Brad Siebert at NZ Avocado with any specific questions.

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