Provisions in plans are typically arranged within plan chapters in one of three ways.
- Grouping according to issues or topics: where provisions flow naturally from one or more issues down to rules, before moving on to the next issue or set of topic-grouped issues.
- Grouping according to type of provisions: where provisions are grouped together according to whether they are issues, objectives, policies or rules.
- Rules grouped separately: often a derivative of 1 or 2 above, in which the rules are physically separated from the issues, objectives and policies, often through inclusion in one or more separate chapters, or occasionally in an entirely separate plan volume.
Examples of each type (and their advantages and disadvantages) are outlined in organising plan provisions.
In the example structures provided in this guidance note, the 'rules grouped separately approach’ has been adopted as it is believed to be easier for plan readers to find the provisions (rules) that most affect them. Many plan readers are unlikely to have to refer to the objectives or policies unless they are applying for a resource consent, so are primarily concerned with the content of rules. In addition, rules often derive from a range of issues, objectives and policies, so collating rules can avoid significant repetition.
The 'rules grouped separately approach’ can also allow for a basic issue-objective-policy flow that, if done simply, can reduce or eliminate cross-referencing in policy chapters of the plan. However there is still a need for cross-referencing from rules back to policies so that linkages are clear.