Category Submission and plan change process   Show all

  • Te Tāpaetanga me te Tukanga Panoni i te Whakaritenga | The Submission and Plan Change Process

    Make a submission

    Submissions are open from 20 August to 14 October 2022. We have doubled the required public notification period for submissions to 40 working days.

    About the submission process

    Things to consider when making a submission

    The following tips are useful when making submissions:

    • Make clear and easy to read points
    • Include your contact details
    • Identify whether you wish to speak at the hearing or not
    • Identify if you support or oppose the plan change
    • Detail the specific part of the District Plan your submission is about.

    Council has included a Submission Template which can be downloaded (Form 5 - Clause 6 of First Schedule Resource Management Act 1991) to assist in making your submission. Ministry for the Environment has also provided guidance on making a submission.

    Your submission should not include any issues not relevant to the plan change, as these will not be able to be considered by Council when making its decision. Please note, your submission, including your personal information, will be publicly available as part of the decision-making process.

    If you have made a submission on other housing or plan change matters in the past, these can’t be used for reference on the Housing for Everyone – Plan Change 9. You need to make another submission.

    The Ministry for the Environment has more information on submitting on this change on its website.

    Please ensure that your submission follows Form 5 of the Resource Management Act 1991 and includes the following:

    • Name of the proposed plan change that you are submitting on- in this case “Housing for Everyone, Plan Change 9
    • State whether you could/could not gain an advantage in trade competition through this submission
    • State whether you are or are not directly affected by the proposed plan change
    • State the specific provisions of the proposal that your submission relates to
    • Detail your submission
    • State what decision you are seeking from the Rotorua Lakes Council (i.e whether you support or oppose or wish to have provisions amended.
    • State whether you wish to be heard in support of your submission and whether you would consider presenting a joint case with other similar submitters at the hearing.
    • Please sign and date your submission

    Where to send your submission

    Submissions must be lodged in writing and either:

    Manager, Planning & Development Solutions
    Rotorua Lakes Council
    Freepost Authority Number 370
    Private Bag 3029
    Rotorua Mail Centre
    Rotorua 3046
    New Zealand


    If you have any questions about the application, please contact customer services at

    You can also check the Ministry for the Environment guide to making submissions.

    Friend of Submitter

    The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) has provided funding to appoint an independent ‘Friend of Submitter’ to help people have their say. Belinda Messenger has been appointed to this role. Belinda is a qualified, fully independent planner, who was not involved in developing Rotorua’s Housing for Everyone - Plan Change 9.

    Belinda can advise people who don’t have professional assistance on the process for lodging submissions, how they can present their views, and the steps after a submission is lodged. However, please note, it is not the role of the Friend of Submitter to advise on the merits of the plan changes, or to write a submission.

    The FOS Service is a free service that is available Monday to Friday 9am-4pm

    Friend of submitter contact details:

    Name: Belinda Messenger



    * Your email will be used as the address for service but if you prefer service by post please inform us by email.

    * Names of submitters will be published with the submissions and summary of submissions on the Council’s website.

  • Te Hātepe Whakarite Whakaū Wawe | The Intensification Streamlined Planning Process

    The Intensification Streamlined Planning Process (“ISPP”) is a new planning process has been introduced to support Councils to implement the intensification policies of the NPS-UD and the MDRS. This process is called the Intensification Streamlined Planning Process (“ISPP”). Key steps in this process involve notifying the plan change for submissions and a hearing of submissions by independent commissioners, as outlined below.

    This process is intended to enable Council to implement the housing intensification required by the NPS-UD at least a year earlier than would normally be achieved through the standard RMA timeframes. The ISPP is based on the streamlined planning process in the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), with opportunities for Māori and iwi and public participation and no appeal rights.

    It is noted that the ISPP differs from the RMA First Schedule process in two ways:

    1. if Council does not accept the Hearings Panel recommendation on Plan Change 9, then the Minister makes the final decision
    2. submitters have no rights of appeal to the Environment Court; the only legal challenge a submitter could bring is to apply to the High Court for judicial review of the Council (or the Minister’s) process. Council does not have discretion on whether to use the ISPP process; this is a requirement of the Amendment Act.

    MfE guidance on the ISPP process is provided below:

    Intensification streamlined planning process | Ministry for the Environment

    Influencing the plan change

    There is limited scope as to what we – both Council and the community – can influence, as the Amendment Act dictates what many of the rules need to look like, especially for buildings of three storeys or less.

    What we can influence is what developments of four storeys or more will look like, and where these higher density areas are located. You will have the opportunity to have your say on this through the formal submission process.

    Plan changes and Legal Effect

    In general, proposed plan changes have legal effect when decisions on submissions are publicly notified. Some specific exceptions apply under sections 86A to 86G of the RMA. In addition to the existing rules within the District Plan, resource consents must be applied for activities that trigger new rules that have legal effect within proposed plan changes. In other words, different resource consents may be required under both the existing rules and the new rules.

    In terms of Plan Change 9, rules permitting residential units that comply with the MDRS within the Residential 1 Zone and Residential 2 Zone have immediate legal effect from notification of the plan change on 20 August 2022 (unless a qualifying matter applies). This means that there is immediately greater opportunity for constructing housing without the need to apply for a resource consent on many residential zoned sited throughout Rotorua. (Refer to the supporting technical reports and FAQs on the Council’s website for more detail on the qualifying matters that limit where the MDRS has immediate legal effect).

    Other parts of Plan Change 9 will only have legal effect once decisions have been made and notified by Council, after the submission and hearings process. The objectives and policies in Plan Change 9 can be considered from the notification date and weighted accordingly when Council considers relevant resource consent applications.

    This will only have legal effect once the plan change decisions have been released. The proposed objectives and policies can be considered from notification and weighted accordingly.