Roles and Responsibilities

Our activities and responsibilities are governed by a wide range of legislation.

The principal legislation that we operate under:

  • Resource Management Act 1991
  • Biosecurity Act 1993
  • Local Government Act 2002


Our work covers:

Policy development – In consultation with community, we develop plans, guidelines and rules to assist in the management of Otago's natural resources.
View our policies and plans

Resource consents – we regulate activities which may impact our environment to ensure that resources are used sustainably.
View resource consents information


Environmental monitoring
- Our staff collect and analyse data on water quality, water quantity, groundwater, rainfall, and air quality. This information is used to promote better use and care of our natural resources and much of it is available on our website.
More about environmental monitoring


Pollution response
- we operate a 24 hour pollution hotline throughout Otago, to respond to pollution incidents affecting our land, air, and water. We encourage people to report pollution incidents to us early so we have the best chance of minimising the environmental impacts.
More about the Pollution Hotline


Land management
– the Otago Water Plan is effects based which allows landholders freedom to operate within the limits of our plans. We work with landholders, industry and community groups to share research and provide advice on our Water Plan.
View information for landowners and farmers


Pest plant and animal control
– we regulate the control of regionally significant weeds and other pests to protect Otago’s biodiversity and biosecurity.
Read more about pests and their control


Civil defence and emergency management
– we administer emergency management on behalf of all councils in Otago. We work closely with the City and district councils, emergency services and the community to prepare for civil defence emergencies.
Visit Civil Defence and Emergency Management Otago’s website


Flood control
– we maintain flood banks and manage pumping stations and flood warning systems around Otago, to protect and property.
Read more about flood management
Check river flow, rainfall and lake levels with Water Info


Land transport
– we are responsible for the strategic planning of an affordable, integrated, safe, responsive, and sustainable land transport system in the Otago region. We also contract the provision of passenger transport services in Dunedin and Queenstown. We administer the Total Mobility Scheme, providing assistance for qualifying disabled people in Otago.
View council's strategies plans and publications on Regional Transport
Read more about public bus services


Harbour Management
– we have a role in keeping Otago harbours safe for everyone to enjoy and do this through our Harbourmaster
Find out more about harbour management


Other significant legislation we work within includes:

  • Marine Pollution Act 1974
  • Transit New Zealand Act 1989
  • Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
  • Privacy Act 1993
  • Soil Conservation & Rivers Control Act 1941
  • Local Government (Rating) Act 2002
  • Local Government Official Information & Meetings Act 1987
  • Maritime Transport Act 1994
  • Public Transport Management Act 2008
  • Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2008
  • Central government online

Visit the New Zealand Government online website

Visit the Ministry for the Environment website

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