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NES for Electricity Transmission Activities: inclusion in district and regional plans (1 of 7)

These pages aim to assist local authorities with reviewing and amending district and regional plans, so the NES is fully incorporated in them. Several options are provided and illustrated.

Incorporating the NES into district plans

There will be conflict with the NES if a rule:

  • is more stringent than the NES provision and the NES does not expressly allow for that (which the NES for Electricity Transmission Activities does not); or
  • is more lenient than an NES provision.

Where rules do not duplicate nor conflict with the NES, councils do not need to take direct action; they just need to know the standards and how these apply. However, councils may choose to amend their district or regional plan to include reference to the NES for the benefit of users of the plan.

Councils can simply amend a district or regional plan to remove duplication or conflict, or to include reference to the NES. Good planning practice would be to issue a public notice and a letter to existing plan holders advising of the amendments; so at the very least, plan holders can then update relevant sections of their district or regional plan.
In these instances, councils do not need to follow the change process for district or regional plans as described in Schedule 1 of the RMA, nor need to undertake consultation.

Once a council has amended its district or regional plan, there should be no confusion between the plan and the NES requirements.

Key steps in incorporating the NES into plans

In incorporating the NES into district or regional plans, councils should:

  • completely review the plan’s existing provisions that apply or could apply to electricity transmission activities covered by the NES, including definitions. Where rules duplicate or conflict with the NES regulations, the plan provisions must be amended
  • use the process for amending plans to give effect to the NES as set out in Section 44 of the RMA. Removing any provisions that duplicate or conflict with the NES, or inserting any cross-references to the NES, will have immediate effect and needs not undergo the process outlined in the First Schedule of the RMA. Printed as well as online versions of the plan need to be updated. The style and method of implementation should be consistent with the style of the existing plan
  • make copies of the NES available online, and make hard copies available for viewing with the regional or district plan
  • remain aware of any future legislative amendments to the NES (through existing legislative review mechanisms) and update the plan accordingly. There is always potential for the NES to be reviewed at some stage.

Various options for incorporating the NES into district and regional plans exist.

Last updated: 23 June 2010