Nelson Plan Timeline


The operative Nelson Regional Policy Statement and Nelson Resource Management Plan were developed in the 1990s, and the Nelson Air Quality Plan became operative in 2008. While these plans have been subject to some changes, they have not undergone a full review. The council resolved to embark on a full review. Once prepared, the new plan will be called the Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan.

December 2021

Nelson City Council has decided to pause the release of the Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan for now, primarily due to the risk that anticipated new legislation will require significant changes to resource management plans in local government. Government announced broad Resource Management Act (RMA) reforms in July 2021, and the impact of those changes is still not certain. The legislative changes and timeframes are out of Council’s control, however, we are anticipating the new legislation in 2022.

View the Draft Nelson Plan

In the interim, Council will focus on progressing some key issues relating to housing, freshwater, coastal inundation and lower Maitai flooding, and air quality.  For many of the other topics, we expect much of the work that has been done to date will be able to be transferred into new plans under the new legislation.

October 2021

Feedback was sought on three topics of the Draft Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan river flood hazards, the Airport Zone and airport noise, and Port Nelson noise management options. You'll find the engagement documents and a full summary of all the feedback received online at . The feedback is used to inform how issues and effects will be managed in the future under any replacement resource management plans.

March 2020 - Covid-19 update

Nelson City Council was looking to release the Draft Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan for public feedback early in 2020.  The Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown has meant that public engagement has been postponed. Council will use the time available to further test the Draft Plan.  Wider public engagement will get underway later this year.


The Draft Nelson Plan was tested by external planning peer reviewers and a first stage legal review of the Draft Plan was carried out. The Draft Plan has been tested by NCC elected members and iwi through a series of topic-based workshops. 


In 2018 the Draft Nelson Plan was completed and compiled as one document for the first time, including web map overlays. Internal testing of the Draft Plan was carried out with key council teams, and a revised version was completed in December.


In 2017 the Draft Nelson Plan was workshopped with elected members, iwi and freshwater working groups, and an initial peer review was carried out. There was public engagement on fault, liquefaction, and river flooding hazards. Engagement continued with landowners who have significant natural areas or heritage values on their properties. Nelson’s business and development community were also engaged with.


In May 2016, Council released the draft RPS for feedback (See Live Nelson Issue 426 (1.7MB PDF))


In November 2015, feedback was sought (see Live Nelson Issue 416) from the community on the main themes the strategic outcomes sought to address, although people were also encouraged to submit on any resource management issue they felt strongly about. About 300 responses were received on a range of issues and this feedback has helped guide Council officers in developing and structuring the Draft Regional Policy Statement. See a summary of this feedback (131KB PDF).


In 2014 the council adopted the Nelson 2060 Strategy, a non-regulatory, community-led vision for Nelson in 2060 followed by 10 goals that will help us achieve that vision. This strategy guides Council in its development of policy, including RMA Plans.

In September 2014, following workshops relating to Whakatū Nelson’s significant resource management issues, Council adopted a range of strategic outcomes. These strategic outcomes have guided work towards the development of a Draft Regional Policy Statement (RPS)  which will set the overall strategic direction for the final Nelson Plan.


In November 2013 the Council resolved to embark on a full review. Once prepared, the reviewed document will be called the Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan.

For more information about Resource Management Planning see:

For further information or questions, please contact or phone (03) 546 0200 and ask for Team Leader Planning