Coastal Plan

​The Regional Coastal Plan sets out how Environment Southland will carry out its resource management responsibilities in the Coastal Marine Area (CMA).

The values of Southland's coast are described and issues of management identified. Fundamental principles in the management of the CMA are set out and then sections of the plan deal with specific matters, including estuaries, coastal water, air, occupation, the seabed and foreshore, structures in the coast, coastal processes and protection works, cruise ships and other ships in internal waters, recreational activities, marine farming, surface water activities, financial contributions and bonds to be made.

The Regional Coastal Plan for Southland became fully operative on the 16 March 2013.

Download the Regional Coastal Plan

Coastal Plan review

The review of the Coastal Plan is being undertaken in three stages.

Stage one is now completed and stage two is underway. 

Stage one – setting the scene (2017-2019)​

The first stage of the review involved the development of a Strategic Direction for the review of the Regional Coastal Plan for Southland and an Effectiveness and Efficiency Review of the Regional Coastal Plan for Southland.

Four discussion papers on key issues for the Southland coastal marine area were drafted to help inform the development of a Strategic Direction:
  1. Marine Aquaculture in Southland
  2. Coastal hazards
  3. Ecosystems in the Southland CMA
  4. Use and development in the Southland CMA

These discussion papers were drafted in 2017 and 2018 using the best information available at that time.

A proposed Strategic Direction was released for public feedback in late 2018.  Several changes were made to the document as a result of comments from 15 organisations and individuals.  The feedback received and changes made to the document can be found in the following Council agenda:


On 20 February 2019, Council approved the finalised Strategic Direction:

The Effectiveness and Efficiency Review of the Coastal Plan was completed in June 2019:

 An assessment of the Effectiveness and Efficiency of the Regional Coastal Plan for Southland (June 2019)

Stage two – pre-notification policy development (2019-2021)

Discussion papers on CMA topics will be prepared for consideration by Council and Te Ao Marama Limited on the following topics:

  • Occupation and public access
  • Air quality
  • Historic heritage
  • Resource use
  • Infrastructure
  • Biosecurity
  • Ecosystems and and biodiversity
  • Environmental risk/hazards
  • Natural character, features and landscapes
  • Surface water activities
  • Water quality, and
  • Marine aquaculture.
These discussion papers will provide information and analysis to assist Council and Te Ao Marama, in consultation with organisations with statutory responsibilities for the coastal environment, to set resource management goals and policy for the coastal marine area.  From this, provisions for a new Coastal Plan will be drafted and considered by Council and Te Ao Marama Limited. 

A draft Coastal Plan will be released for public feedback in 2020.

Stage three – formal consultation process (2021 onwards)

Stage three of the review of the Coastal Plan is the formal consultation process under Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act, as follows:

  • Notification;
  • Submissions;
  • Further submissions;
  • Hearing;
  • Decisions;
  • Appeals.
For any further information, or if you would like to be included on our Coastal Plan review stakeholder list, please email tanith.robb@es.govt.nz​
Page reviewed: 26 Jul 2019 2:49pm