Lake Rotorua

Lake Rotorua

Lake Rotorua rules

Plan Change 10 - Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management Rules

Lake Rotorua and profitable farming are important to our community. We need to ensure we have a healthy lake for the future. This means we need to reduce the amount of nutrients entering the lake. We also need to make sure new rules are reasonable.

Information has been gathered from almost 100 research and information reports, community representation groups, and consultation to develop the proposed rules. The rules have also been developed with input from Lake Rotorua Stakeholder Advisory Group to achieve the 270 tonnes nitrogen reduction needed from rural land. 

For a simple guide on how the rules affect you, read the Working together to protect Lake Rotorua brochure.


What is next?

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) is aware there are some over-40 hectare farming enterprises who are ready to progress to the next stage of Proposed Plan Change 10 – applying for a resource consent – and BOPRC is ready too.

Those that have a signed Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) can contact BOPRC’s Advice and Support Service to talk through the resource consent process. Call the team on 07 921 3377.

BOPRC’s priority is to work with the landowners and farmers that have said they’re ready and wanting to move forward. 

Applying for a resource consent doesn’t compromise the hearing process which is still underway, and will continue to run its course. Based on the final outcome BOPRC will fund any necessary changes to resource consents and/or NMPs completed before the outcome.

Hearings were held between March and May. The independent hearing panel had the responsibility to consider all the information submitted, and made an informed recommendation on the plan change to Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC). BOPRC considered these recommendations and adopted these as Council's decisions at the Regional Direction Delivery Committee meeting held the 2 August 2017. Council decisions were then notified 15 August 2017.

In total four appeals and 27 section 274 notices have been filed with the Environment Court on Plan Change 10. These are available to view here


What the Rules currently look like

View Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management – Proposed Plan Change 10 to Bay of Plenty Regional Water and Land Plan

The proposed rules set out how individual rural properties will be considered a controlled or permitted activity. As a result of Council decisions the conversion of forestry, bush and scrub on Te Ture Whenua land is a restricted discretionary activity. 


Permitted activities

Properties/farming enterprises that are considered permitted activities will not require resource consent, will not be given a Nitrogen Discharge Allowance and will not require a Nitrogen Management Plan. Permitted activities may need to provide information annually to Bay of Plenty Regional Council. 


Controlled activities

Resource consents are now open for properties/farming enterprises that are over 40 hectares.

These consents are being offered free of charge from July 1 to September 30, 2017.

Properties/farming enterprises that are considered controlled activities will be given a Nitrogen Discharge Allowance that they will need to meet by 2032 and will require a Nitrogen Management Plan that shows actions that manage the reductions.


Restricted Discretionary

Up to 800 hectares of Te Ture Whenua Land currently in plantation forestry or bush and scrub is able to be converted into low intensity drystock activity through a restricted discretionary activity resource consent,

Approval is subject to a range of criteria including the approval of a nutrient management plan, harvesting being set to occur within 5 years of the consent being issued and the establishment of a drystock operation and use of the nitrogen allocation within an identified period of time.

For more information about how the rules may affect you please phone the dedicated phone line 07 921 3377



Target date

The sustainable annual nitrogen limit of 435 tonnes must be met by 2032, with 70% of the catchment target reached by 2022.

Report title




Management of Phosphorous and nitrogen inputs to Lake Rotorua, New Zealand

J.C. Rutherford, R.D. Pridmore and E. White

This is the original report that informed that a sustainable load of 435 tonnes of N and a reduction of 10 tonnes of phosphorus is required to meet water quality targets (pre-1960s)