Under the RMA most activities affecting air quality, water quality and quantity, the beds of rivers and lakes and the coastal marine area (CMA) are restricted unless allowed by a rule or resource consent. Many such activities have only minor effects and requiring a resource consent in every case would be unduly bureaucratic and costly. By contrast, land use activities are allowed under the RMA unless restricted by a rule. Some land use activities can have very significant effects which require a level of control. Through rules the Regional Council can both free up as many minor activities as possible, thereby minimising costs on resource users, and restrict activities that might otherwise cause significant effects. This chapter describes the Regional Council’s overarching objectives and policies for regulating activities.