This section focuses on reducing accelerated erosion*.

The Regional Council’s focus continues to be largely non-regulatory, with the Council’s Sustainable Land Use Initiative and Whanganui Catchment Strategy programmes being critical components of this approach.

The Regional Council’s regulatory focus for land centres on protecting the stability of the Region’s soil and maintaining or enhancing water quality.

This regulatory focus recognises that under s9(2) of the RMA, the use of land can occur as of right unless a rule in a plan states otherwise. Therefore, the Regional Council does not require rules allowing the use of land unless it wishes to control the way in which that use of land occurs.

Under this Plan, the majority of activities involving the use of land can continue to occur as of right provided they are not within a rare habitat*, threatened habitat* or at-risk habitat*. However, four specific activities can only continue to be undertaken without the need for a resource consent if conditions are met. These activities are:
  1. Small-scale land disturbance*, including earthworks,
  2. forestry*
  3. cultivation*, and
  4. vegetation clearance*.
These activities are permitted by Rules 13-1, 13-3, 13-4 and 13-5 respectively.

Vegetation clearance*, land disturbance* and cultivation* require a resource consent if they are undertaken adjacent to water bodies, in Hill Country Erosion Management Areas* or coastal foredune* areas subject to an elevated risk of accelerated erosion. These specific activities are the subject of Rule 13-6 and 13-7.