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The TANK Project

TANK Project began in 2012 to look at rules for the best way to manage the land and waterways of the Tutaekuri, Ahuriri, Ngaruroro and Karamu catchments.

TANK Plan Change

This project began in 2012 when the Regional Council formed a stakeholder group to represent the wider community to look at the best way to manage the waterways of the Tutaekuri, Ahuriri, Ngaruroro and Karamu catchments. The project quickly became known as TANK.

In 2017, new groundwater science presented to the TANK Group indicated that the waterways and aquifer below the Heretaunga Plains are highly inter-connected. There had been a misconception that the groundwater was a bottomless water resource, so this was a significant consideration for the Group. 

The collaborative TANK Group, tasked with assisting in the development of objectives, policies and rules for the Plan Change, held its last meeting on 26 July 2018.    

The Draft TANK Plan was then presented to the Regional Planning Committee for the first time on 14 August 2018.  The details of the draft Plan - once ‘workshopped’ by RPC members over the coming months - lead us to a final draft for public consultation and formal submission.

There were a handful of matters where the TANK Group was unable to reach consensus, requiring further review and consideration by the RPC.  These items of non-consensus are clearly highlighted, and the next iteration of the draft Plan will clearly show the Regional Council’s position on these matters.

When in place, the TANK Plan will give clear direction to consent holders and other water users regarding the freshwater resource. It's a challenging balancing act between water use and protection. The rivers and waterways have to come first, but water users should also be able to rely on safe, secure water when they need it.  Water is valued by everyone within the community.  The Plan Change seeks to deliver sustainable outcomes through a management framework that contributes to the regions economic growth and environmental integrity, whilst providing for the values identified by the community.

TANK Update - December 2018

Council agreed on the 19 December to adopt the Draft TANK Plan Change (version 8) for targeted consultation early 2019.

This will include consulting with the affected Territorial Local Authorities, Government Ministers and iwi authorities on the draft TANK Plan Change.  There is also an opportunity for other stakeholders and people to provide feedback on this version of the Plan. This is programmed to start late January 2019.  The Regional Council agreed to give six weeks for this consultation to occur to allow sufficient time for the parties to respond.The purpose of this consultation is to obtain the views and feedback from those parties on the content of the plan. 

Once this feedback has been received staff will summarise and evaluate the comments and report back to the Regional Planning Committee.  The Regional Planning Committee will make  recommendations to the Regional Council for any changes that might be necessary following consideration of the feedback. 

It is envisaged that the TANK Plan Change will be notified mid-2019 – this will be the opportunity for anyone to make a formal submission on the Plan.

What can I do now? 

We have made the draft TANK Plan Change available so that anyone can review the content of the Plan now.  We are in the process of developing an online feedback form, so in the interim any comments can be emailed to Ceri Edmonds, Senior Planner at

Where can I find further information?

  • Explanatory paper– this has been developed to provide a summary of the content of the draft TANK Plan Change, it also provides useful links to supporting reports and documents which have informed the development of the Plan.
  • A number of workshops and meetings were held with the Regional Planning Committee (RPC).  A lot of supporting information was provided to the Committee and can be found in the meeting agendas and attachments.  These meetings were also recorded and are available online.
  • 14 August 2018 – RPC meeting and workshop
  • 15 August 2018 – RPC workshop
  • 12 September 2018 – RPC meeting
  • 19 September – RPC workshop
  • 31 October – RPC workshop and meeting
  • 12 December – RPC meeting
  • There were a number of reports (scientific, environmental, economic, cultural) which were developed in support of the development of the draft TANK Plan Change – these can be found on the TANK resources webpage.

Who can I contact?

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please email

Ceri Edmonds, Senior Planner ceri.edmonds@hbrc.govt

Mary-Anne Baker, Senior Planner,

Find out more about the TANK project in our series of videos


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