This page has information about upcoming public consultations, including Nationally Significant Proposals and proposed changes to the laws and regulations we administer.

Consultations are grouped by type of consultation. The dates provided are a guide only.

Proposals that the Minister call in as, or part of, a proposal of National Significance are included on this page under the Nationally Significant Proposals section. 

When a consultation is opened for public submission, you will find it in the 'Open for submission' section:

See our Public Consultations page

Each consultation will provide details about when and how you can have your say.

All other public consultations either underway or completed can be found either under 'In Progress' or 'Decided' sections.

You can keep up-to-date with information about current applications and consultations in the news section of our website and by signing up to our newsletters.

Hazardous substances consultations Plus

Implementing the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) – Consultation 2

We will soon be undertaking a second consultation on implementing GHS in New Zealand. The GHS is an internationally agreed system to classify chemicals and communicate their hazards through labels and safety data sheets.

We have now finished processing the submissions received on our first consultation which ran from October 2019 to January 2020. The focus of that consultation was to adopt GHS version 7 by issuing a new Classification Notice that incorporates GHS by reference. A series of proposals were also included around which GHS building blocks we should adopt.

Our recommendations on all proposals, along with the rationale, will be published in a submission analysis report that will be available on our website in May/early June 2020.

A consequence of adopting GHS 7 is that all HSNO approvals need to be updated to apply GHS classifications. This second consultation seeks feedback on our proposals to update all approvals, including group standards, to convert their current HSNO classifications to GHS classifications.

As part of this process, we also propose to revoke individual approvals that can be covered by a group standard approval, and will be seeking your feedback on which approvals we propose to revoke.

This second consultation is expected to start in early June 2020.

Amending the EPA Hazardous Substances (Storage and Disposal of Persistent Organic Pollutants) Notice 2004

We are proposing to amend the Hazardous Substances (Storage and Disposal of Persistent Organic Pollutants) Notice 2004.

This Gazette Notice prohibits the storage or disposal of any persistent organic pollutant (POP) in New Zealand, unless it is stored or disposed of in accordance with the requirements included in the notice.

The proposed amendments include:

  • updating the requirements relating to the disposal of POPs
  • updating the notice to take account of the legislative reform which occurred in December 2017
  • adding new provisions for manufactured articles that contain POPs.

This consultation is expected to start in June 2020. This date may change in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nationally Significant Proposals and Plan Changes Plus

Otago Regional Plan Changes

On 8 April 2020, in response to requests from the Otago Regional Council (ORC), the Minister for the Environment issued two directions under section 142(2) of the Resource Management Act (RMA) to refer the following changes the ORC is proposing to make to its regional plans to the Environment Court for decision. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is preparing to publicly notify the Minister’s directions and the plan changes under section 147 of the RMA. Anyone will be able to make a submission on the plan changes.

The proposed changes are part of ORC’s broader programme of work to give effect to the National Policy Statement (NPS) on freshwater management. In particular, the proposed changes put in place interim measures that will apply until a new Land and Water Regional Plan becomes operative (anticipated toward the end of 2025). The plan changes respond to section 24A recommendations from the Minister for the Environment on 18 November 2019 following the Skelton Investigation which reviewed freshwater management in the Otago Region.

The Water Permit Plan Change – Plan Change 7 (WPPC)

The plan change proposes an objective, policies and rules that manage the replacement of: 

  • deemed permits (also known as mining privileges) expiring in 2021; and
  • any other water permits expiring prior to 31 December 2025, the date by which a new Regional Land and Water Plan is expected to be operative.

Note: Prior to the Minister’s direction, the ORC notified this plan change on 18 March 2020 and, under section 86B(3) of the RMA, this proposed plan change has legal effect from 18 March 2020. If you have made a submission to the ORC on this plan change, your submission will be provided to the EPA by the ORC. You will be able to make another submission on this plan change when we notifiy the Minister's direction. 

Water Quality Plan Changes (also known as the Omnibus Plan Change)

This comprises of two plan changes, which are:

  • Plan Change 8 (Discharge Management) to the Regional Plan: Water for Otago; and
  • Plan Change 1 (Dust Suppressants and Waste Oil) to the Regional Plan: Waste for Otago.

These changes propose to introduce a range of amendments targeting specific issues or activities known to be contributing to water quality issues in parts of Otago. Among other things, the plan changes will improve water quality provisions relating to discharges in various situations including landfill management and on farm storage of farm dairy effluent (for the first time in Otago), and will prohibit the use of waste oil as a dust suppressant.

Note: In accordance with section 86B(3) of the RMA, the water quality plan changes will have legal effect from when the EPA notifies them.

The EPA plans to notify the above plan changes at the same time, on 6 July 2020. Further details will be posted on this website at that time. In the meantime, you can contact the EPA team in the following ways:

Find out more about proposals of national significance