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National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land


19 September 2022 – Next steps of the NPS-HPL

The National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) 2022 has been developed to enhance protection for Aotearoa New Zealand’s most productive land from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development.

Councils will be required to identify, map, and manage highly productive land to ensure it’s available for future food and fibre production. Cabinet approved the final NPS-HPL in September 2022.

The NPS-HPL will come into effect on 17 October 2022. Regional councils will have up to 3 years to identify and map highly productive land in their region, in consultation with their communities and tangata whenua. During this transitional period, councils will reference highly productive land as Land Use Capability (LUC) Class 1, 2, and 3. 

4 November 2020 – Submissions released

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has published the 250 submissions that were received on the proposed National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) over the 8-week consultation. The submissions are available to download.

Summary report

MPI previously published (30 July 2020) a summary report of the submissions.

Summary of submissions report [PDF, 1.5 MB]

Background to the consultation

The Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment called for submissions on the proposed National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL). The closing date for submissions was 10 October 2019 at 5pm.

Our land is a taonga – an irreplaceable treasure and a source of life and wellness for our country. Our economy depends on our land, and our history and culture are tied to it. We have a duty to cherish and protect it for future generations. However, our productive land is at risk.

The Government proposed a NPS-HPL to prevent the loss of more of our productive land and promote its sustainable management.

The overall purpose of the proposed NPS-HPL is to improve the way highly-productive land is managed under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to:

  • recognise the full range of values and benefits associated with its use for primary production
  • maintain its availability for primary production for future generations
  • protect it from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development.

Consultation documents

Media release

Government moves to protect elite soils – Beehive

Public meetings

During the consultation (14 August to 10 October 2019), the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment hosted public meetings around the country to answer questions about the proposed NPS-HPL, in addition to other RMA national direction work being undertaken.

Details on the meetings – MfE website

Submissions are public information

All or part of any written submission (including names of submitters) may be published on the Ministry for Primary Industries' website, or the Ministry for the Environment's website. Unless you clearly specify otherwise in your submission, the ministries will consider that you have agreed to have your submission and your name posted on their websites.

Contents of submissions may be released to the public under the Official Information Act 1982, if requested. Tell us if you do not want some or all of your submission released, stating which part(s) you consider should be withheld and the reason(s) for withholding the information.

Under the Privacy Act 1993, people have access to information held by agencies about them. Any personal information you send with your submission will only be used in relation to matters covered by this document. In your submission, indicate if you prefer that we do not include your name in the published summary of submissions.