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Waimakariri River Regional Plan 

OPERATIVE: This plan promotes the sustainable management of rivers, lakes and hydraulically connected groundwater, and river and lake beds in the Waimakariri River Catchment; to maintain and enhance the environment; and to achieve integrated management of these resources.

The Transitional Regional Plan permitted activity rules no longer have effect in the Waimakariri catchment and have been replaced by NRRP permitted activity rules. See the file “Correction of Minor Errors” under Read the Plan.

Amendments to the Waimakariri River Regional Plan relating to the repair of earthquake damaged residential land

Pursuant to Section 27 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 (CER Act 2011), the Minister has used his powers to amend the Waimakariri River Regional Plan (WRRP).

As a result of the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence that commenced on 4 September 2010, extensive land damage has occurred throughout the Greater Christchurch Area. To enable residential landowners to repair their earthquake damaged land, amendments have been made to the Waimakariri River Regional Plan. These amendments include changes to the wording of the WRRP, which results in any land repair within the area controlled by the WRRP being classified under rules in the Natural Resources Regional Plan (NRRP) and proposed Land and Water Regional Plan (pLWRP), rather than the WRRP. These amendments took effect on 10 October 2013 and a description of the changes can be found here:

Amendments to the Regional Plans relating to Land Repair on Earthquake Damaged Residential Land under s27 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 (pdf 1.83 MB)

Public Notice: Amendments to District and Regional Plans: Earthquake-Damaged Land Repair »

Amendments to NRRP Chapter 4 Water Quality & Waimakariri River Regional Plan relating to the Styx River Catchment

Pursuant to Section 27 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act, 2011 (CER Act), the Minister has used his powers to amend the regional plan that applies to the Styx River/Puharakekenui catchment. This makes the Styx River catchment subject to the water quality rules in the Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan 2011 (NRRP). Water quality in the Styx River catchment had previously been managed under the Waimakariri River Regional Plan 2004. The NRRP provides the most up to date policies and rules regarding stormwater, and includes a requirement to develop stormwater management plans for the catchment. Having a single regional plan apply to the whole north east Christchurch area will also simplify the planning and consenting process, to facilitate the delivery of much needed housing and associated infrastructure for the Christchurch recovery.

Waimakariri River Regional Plan amendments (pdf 12 kB)

The Natural Resources Regional Plan amendments - Chapter 4 Water Quality (pdf 13 kB)

Appendix 1 Amendments to NRRP Chapter 4 Table WQL8 Index of rules (pdf 29 kB)

Appendix 2 Amendments to rules in Chapter 4 of the Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan (pdf 538 kB)

Christchurch Map Series A-C02 (pdf 1.52 MB)
Christchurch Map Series A-C05 (pdf 2.88 MB)
Christchurch Map Series A-C06 (pdf 987 kB)

Public Notice: Styx River Catchment

Read the plan

Policy A4 and Policy B7 from the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 have been inserted into this regional plan as required by the NPSFM 2014.

Waimakariri River Regional Plan Incorporating Plan Change 1 (pdf 5.28 MB)

Or, due to large file size of the whole Plan, you can download the Plan as several smaller files:

In particular, the Plan addresses the issues of:

  • Competition for the use of water in the Waimakariri River, its tributaries and hydraulically connected groundwater
  • The use of water from the Waimakariri River to augment flows in the Cust River to safeguard its life supporting capacity
  • Point and non-point source discharges of contaminants to water bodies in the Waimakariri River Catchment
  • Land uses or activities in the beds of rivers and lakes in the Waimakariri River Catchment.

Correction of minor errors in the Operative Waimakariri River Regional Plan

The Resource Management Act, Schedule 1 Clause 20A, allows Councils to amend an operative plan to correct minor errors. Clause 20A states:

“A local authority may amend, without using the process in this Schedule, an operative policy statement or plan to correct any minor errors”

The table identifies where corrections of minor errors have occurred in the operative Waimakariri River Regional Plan. These have been approved under delegated authority and took effect from the date they were authorised, as shown in the right hand column.

WRRP provision Page number Amendment made to correct minor error Summary of reason for amendment Date authorised
Many provisions – see attachment   See attachment: Minor change required to WRRP to correct errors (pdf 1.83 MB) The Waimakariri River Regional Plan (WRRP) does not contain permitted activity rules, and relies instead on the permitted activities, specified as general authorisations, in the Transitional Regional Plan (TRP).  The Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan (NRRP) became operative on 11 June 2011, and includes rules on the same matters as those in the TRP. The NRRP states that a rule in the TRP will continue to have effect until a rule on the same matter in Chapters 4 and 5 becomes operative. Now that the NRRP is operative, the TRP rules have ceased to have effect.  As a consequence the references in the WRRP to the TRP provisions is incorrect and needs remedying so that the WRRP and NRRP are applied correctly in the Waimakariri catchment. 19 July 2011


Plan Changes

Plan change Subject Status
Plan change 1
Chapter 5: Water Quality
  • Additions to Policy 5.1, to guide the allocation of water;
  • An additional method to provide for monitoring of the river to determine the effectiveness of the flow regime;
  • A new 5 m3/s “AA” block for the Waimakariri River mainstem that allocates water for reticulated community and stock water requirements with the “A” block is correspondingly reduced to 17 m3/s;
  • An allocation limit for the Waimakariri River mainstem “B” block and “1:1 flow sharing” of the “B” block;
  • Provision for some freshes and floods in the Waimakariri River mainstem to pass without take to avoid periphyton build-up;
  • A shift of the flow monitoring site from the Old Highway Bridge to Otarama for the Waimakariri River mainstem ;
  • Modification of the restrictions on discretion, effect of the rules on existing consents, notification provisions and definitions;
  • The status for activities that otherwise do not meet Rule 5.1 are clarified as non-complying or prohibited activities; and
  • Minor changes to maps and diagrams to identify the Otarama flow monitoring site;
  • Amendments to the planning maps to correct the shown catchment boundaries of the “below Woodstock” area.

Read the plan change:
Public notice (pdf 49 kB)

The changes in 2011 brought in the following amendments to the original 2004 WRRP.
 Read Waimakariri River Regional Plan 2004 (pdf 2.57 MB)


Plan history

The Waimakariri River Regional Plan (WRRP) became operative on 23 October 2004. It sets out the objectives, policies, and methods for resolving resource management issues within the catchment of the Waimakariri River.

Plan Change 1 was incorporated in the Waimakariri River Regional Plan and made operative on 11 June 2011.