Contributed by: Daniel Minhinnick, Kristen Gunnell
Published on: February 10, 2021
Following on from the Report of the Resource Management Review Panel issued last year, Minister Parker has today announced the process for the reform of the resource management system. As was expected, the Government has confirmed its intention to repeal the Resource Management Act 1991 and replace it with the three new pieces of legislation recommended by the Review Panel - the Natural and Built Environments Act, Strategic Planning Act and the Climate Change Adaptation Act. See here for a summary of the reform proposal and process. The Government has indicated that the reform will be based on the findings of the Review Panel report. Our summary of the Panel's report and major recommendations can be found here with more in-depth comment on the Panel's significant proposals here.
The Minister has taken on board the Panel's recommendations for increased national direction by central government and envisages that this will be called the "National Planning Framework". The Minister also recognises in the accompanying Cabinet Paper that significant resourcing and support will be required from central government in the short and long-term including in respect of: the development of combined plans; the consolidation of national direction into a single integrated format in preparation for being incorporated into the National Planning Framework; increasing the capacity and capability throughout the system including iwi and local authorities; and an improved environmental monitoring and reporting system.
Other than Māori and local government, the Minister has indicated that engagement prior to the release of the exposure draft of the Natural and Built Environments Bill will be limited to "selected stakeholders necessary to ensure the new system works". Select committee processes will be the primary method of engagement with wider stakeholders and the general public. The Government has set an ambitious timeframe for the enactment of the new legislation. It will be critical to engage in its development. Please contact one of our experts for more detail of what the reform might mean for your business and how you can become involved.
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