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New Week, New Government

New Week, New Government

New Week, New Government

Monday 27 November, 2023

Twenty-one days after confirmation of the official Election results, and we now have a new Government which seems to have hit the ground running.

The lineup of portfolios released on Friday afternoon contains some noticeable changes from the previous Government. In terms of Ministers inside Cabinet, of note to all of us in the Local Government sector is Chris Bishop, the new ‘Minister Responsible for RMA Reform’ and ‘Minister for Infrastructure’, Simeon Brown our new ‘Minister of Local Government’ and David Seymour, the new Minister for Regulation. However, the most surprising, and perhaps the most telling of what is to come, is that the new Minister for the Environment, Penny Simmonds, now sits outside of Cabinet.

It seems the new Government intends to deliver on Election campaign promises with the Coalition Agreements proposing to repeal the recently enacted Natural and Built Environment Act and the Spatial Planning Act and, instead, reform the Resource Management Act to make it easier to consent new infrastructure, including renewable energy projects, streamline plan processes and fast-track regional and national projects of significance.

Our new Government has also indicated intentions to:

  • Introduce financial incentives for councils to enable more housing;
  • Legislate to make the medium-density residential standards optional for councils;
  • Establish a National Infrastructure Agency;
  • Commence an urgent review into the National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity 2023 before any implementation;
  • Replace the National Policy Standards for Freshwater Management 2020 and the National Environment Standards for Freshwater to better reflect the interests of all water users.

It seems there is plenty of change afoot in the local government space. We will continue to keep a watching brief and update you.

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