The One Plan has been prepared by the Regional Council in accordance with its functions under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

The One Plan can be described as a “one-stop-shop” regional planning document that defines how the natural and physical resources of the Region (including fresh air, clean water, productive land and natural ecosystems) will be cared for and managed by the Regional Council in partnership with Territorial Authorities and the community.

The One Plan combines the requirements for preparation of a Regional Policy Statement and a Regional Plan. Under the RMA, preparation of a Regional Policy Statement is mandatory, whilst the preparation of a Regional Plan is discretionary (except for a Regional Coastal Plan).

The Plan has effect over the entire Region (although some objectives, policies and rules apply only in specific parts of the Region).

To distinguish the different planning functions encompassed by the One Plan, the Plan is split into two main parts.

Part I is the Regional Policy Statement section of the One Plan. It sets out the regionally significant resource management issues (identified through a process that drew on both community and technical information), and outlines the objectives, policies and methods that will be used to address these issues.

Part II is the Regional Plan section of the One Plan. It specifies the controls on natural and physical resource use (that is, objectives, policies and regional rules). These controls cover both permitted activities (which allow people to use and develop resources without the need for resource consents) and the application for and issuing of resource consents. Chapter 18 (Activities in the Coastal Marine Area) and Schedule I, together with Chapters 11, 12 and 19, and the relevant definitions in the Glossary, are the Regional Coastal Plan, as required by s64 of the RMA.