Achieving the right balance, between encouraging and supporting change and requiring it, using rules in this Plan, is a significant challenge. The Regional Council’s overall approach to One Plan implementation is to use methods which encourage responsible resource use, benefit responsible resource users and punish irresponsible resource users.

To make progress on the Big Four issues, a number of changes to the way natural resources are developed and used will need to be made. Some changes are a significant departure from existing practice and may be viewed as daunting by resource users. This is understandable and part of the Regional Council’s role is to encourage and support resource users through this period of change.

The Regional Council holds the view that:
  1. working with people and communities to evaluate and deliver local solutions for local issues is the preferred approach to resource management 
  2. solutions need to be practical, appropriate to the scale of the problem and affordable for ratepayers and communities in the Region. 
To deal with the issues the Regional Council will use a suite of policies and methods. The preference in this Plan is to use approaches that promote and encourage voluntary adoption of environment-friendly resource use practices. These could include encouraging activities that do any of the following:
  1. operate in accordance with codes of practice and other good practice initiatives 
  2. have net environmental benefits, especially where the benefits support progress on the Big Four issues 
  3. assist the Region to adapt to climate change
  4. reduce the demand for water at low river flows - for example, water harvesting
  5. provide habitat enhancement, especially if it results in benefits to indigenous biodiversity
  6. result in innovative ways to reduce the impact of otherwise adverse effects on the environment - for example, the use of new technology or science.
    1. If this emphasis on promoting and encouraging change is not effective, the Regional Council will be forced to switch its policy emphasis to using rules to require appropriate changes, either at the time of the next Plan review or through the plan change process.