One Plan Reviews and Changes

Planning documents must evolve if they are to remain effective, and the One Plan (which has been fully in operation since December 2014) is no different. This can be prompted by a new or changed policy direction or standards from central government, or can follow an evaluation of how well the regional policy statement and regional plans are working. If an evaluation shows that something could be improved, a review is then carried out to work out what options will best deliver the Plan's objectives, and whether changing the Plan is sensible.

Even if evaluations don't reveal any issues, the Resource Management Act requires that every part of every planning document has to be reviewed at least every 10 years. Amendments may also be made without a formal plan change process when required by a national policy statement or environmental standard, for example.

Horizons is also developing a catchment planning programme, Our Freshwater Future, working with local communities to develop broad-based action plans for continued improvements to freshwater quality in the region. Our Freshwater Future isn't focused on regulation but will, in time, inform future Plan changes. The first of these processes will begin later this year and will focus on the Manawatū Catchment.

One Plan Evaluation

The One Plan was made operative in December 2014. Since then we have evaluated the following topics:

Freshwater quality (2016). This led to a more detailed evaluation of the One Plan's nutrient management provisions (2018).



  • Existing Intensive Farming Land Uses Plan Change (Plan Change 2) - notification 22 July, 2019

  • Plan Change 2 submission period 22 July, 2019 to 21 October, 2019 05:00 PM

  • Plan Change 2 further submission period 18 November, 2019 to 03 December, 2019 05:00 PM

  • New Intensive Farming Land Use Plan Change (Plan Change 3) 2019

    Notification before the end of the year

  • Our Freshwater Future 2019

    Commencement of Manawatū Catchment Strategy process

Current Plan Change Processes

Existing Intensive Farming Land Uses Plan Change (Plan Change 2)

In the One Plan, Horizons sought to strike the ideal balance between using natural resources for economic and social wellbeing, while keeping the environment in good health. In 2017, an evaluation of policies and regulations for managing nutrients in the One Plan showed that the parts of the Plan dealing with the effects of farming and primary production, known as ‘intensive farming land uses’, require attention. These parts of the Plan are designed to reduce the amount of nutrients, sediment and pathogens that get into our waterways from these activities.
The intent set out in the Plan for nutrient limits for intensive farming land uses (dairy farming, commercial vegetable growing, arable farming of crops for human or animal consumption, and irrigated sheep and beef farming) is not working well. Therefore the Plan needs to be adapted.
Plan Change 2 is focused on existing land uses, and its intent is:
  • Achieving what the One Plan intended - better water quality within the means of most farms
  • Realigning the One Plan with the most up to date science
  • No changes to water quality targets.

Regional Council adopted Plan Change 2 for notification on 25 June 2019. Our communities had the opportunity to make a written submission between 22 July and 21 October 2019; the further submission period will be from 18 November to 5pm on 3 December 2019. Submitters will be able to present their views and evidence to an independent hearing panel, who will consider these views as part of their decision-making.
These changes will be of particular interest to dairy farmers, arable farmers, growers of commercial vegetables and farmers who irrigate their sheep and beef operations. It will also be of interest to people who are looking to improve water quality in the Horizons Region, especially those in target catchment areas listed in the One Plan (for example, Upper Manawatū, Horowhenua). We’re also working with iwi to understand their views.

To find out more about Plan Change 2 click here

Forthcoming Plan Changes

New Intensive Farming Land Uses Plan Change (Plan Change 3)

We expect to carry out a further plan change, focused on the One Plan's nutrient management provisions for new intensive farming land uses, during 2020.

Completed changes to the One Plan

Plan Amendment 1 - Forestry (2018)

This minor amendment to comply with the National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry took effect from 24 September 2018. Rule 13-3 and the definition of 'forestry' are amended by Plan Amendment 1. You can see the amendments in the report and Annexes A (Chapter 13) and B (Glossary) to the Strategy and Policy Committee meeting on 14 August 2018.

Plan Change 1 (2016)

This plan change took effect on 28 April 2016. It inserted a new policy into Chapter 14 of the One Plan (required by the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management), consequential amendments and correction of some minor errors. You can see the amendments made and the reasons for them in the report to the Strategy and Policy Committee meeting on 12 April 2016 and its annex.

Last updated 15 July 2019