The Regional Coastal Plan (PDF 628 KB) became operative on 19 June 2000.

The Regional Coastal Plan applies to the coastal marine area of the Wellington region. The coastal marine area is the foreshore, seabed and coastal water, and the air space above the water, between the outer limits of the territorial sea and the line of mean high water springs.

The Plan identifies issues to be addressed so that the coastal marine area can be sustainably managed. Objectives, policies and methods (including rules) have been adopted to address these issues.

The Plan and the planning maps can be downloaded from the document bar on the right of this screen. Appendices 1 to 6 are in the Plan document.

Some activities are restricted by Resource Management (Marine Pollution) Regulations. Regulations override regional rules.

Plan effectiveness monitoring

The Plan effectiveness report for the Regional Coastal Plan describes the results of monitoring the effectiveness of the policies and methods, including rules, in the Plan. This Plan is the largest of the five regional plans for the Wellington region, with 68 objectives, 130 policies, 86 rules and 28 methods.

Navigational and Safety Bylaws

The Navigational and Safety bylaws apply in addition to controls in the Regional Coastal Plan. They control activities that affect the safe use of the harbours and waters of the region. The bylaws apply throughout the waters of the region from the Otaki River Mouth, around to Cape Palliser and then up to the Mataikona River and extend to the coastal waters up to three miles offshore.This includes both Wellington and Porirua Harbours and Lakes Wairarapa and Onoke, but does not cover the region's rivers.

These bylaws are made under the requirements of the Local Government Act 1974, and came into effect on 11 December 2003.

A full copy of the bylaws is available as a PDF, and a summary of the part of the bylaws most to recreational boating is on the Harbour Safety section of this site. Please have a look at these. If you have any questions or comments we look forward to hearing from you.

For a copy of the printed A5-sized bylaws and one of our boating safety packs please contact us, phone 381 7760 or e-mail

Wairarapa Coastal Strategy

The Wairarapa Coastal Strategy provided a long-term vision for the Wairarapa coast and recommends actions that the community can take to achieve that vision.

Regional plans and Policy Statements

Greater Wellington has produced five regional plans: Regional Coastal Plan, a Regional Freshwater Plan, a Regional Soil Plan, a Regional Air Quality Management Plan and a Regional Plan for Discharges to Land.

Regional Policy Statements must also be prepared for each region. They enable regional councils to provide broad direction and a framework for resource management within their regions. The Greater Wellington Regional Council released a second generation RPS in April 2013.

Contact us for more information about the Regional Coastal Plan.

What sort of activities does the Plan cover?

The Regional Coastal Plan applies to activities and uses of resources within the coastal marine area that are covered under the Resource Management Act 1991. Activities covered include:

Reclamation and draining of the foreshore and seabed

Rules about structures in the coastal marine area

Rules about destruction, damage, or disturbance of foreshore or seabed

Rules about deposition of substances on foreshore and seabed

Rules about exotic or introduced plants in the coastal marine area

Rules about discharges to land and water in the coastal marine area

Rules about discharges to air in the coastal marine area

Rules about taking, using, damming and diverting water in the coastal marine area

Rules about surface water and foreshore activities

Section 14.1 General standards

Section 14.2 General terms

Updated August 31, 2022 at 3:43 PM

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