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Randerson Report released: New Direction for Resource Management

Randerson Report released: New Direction for Resource Management

Randerson Report released: New Direction for Resource Management

Wednesday 5 August, 2020

The Resource Management Review Panel released its 531-page report “New Directions for Resource Management in New Zealand” on 29 July as a result of a comprehensive review of the resource management system in New Zealand. The Report is the most significant, broad ranging and inclusive review to take place within the system since the introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 (“RMA”). The review was conducted by the independent Resource Management Review Panel chaired by retired Court of Appeal Judge, Hon Tony Randerson, QC.

The overarching recommendation of the Report was that the RMA should be repealed. The report recommends replacing the RMA with three new pieces of legislation, namely:

  • the Natural and Built Environments Act
  • the Strategic Planning Act; and
  • the Managed Retreat and Climate Change Adaptation Act.

It is intended that the new legislation would take a completely different approach while incorporating some of the key principles of the RMA. The proposed purpose of the Natural and Built Environments Act is to enhance the quality of the environment to support the wellbeing of present and future generations. That purpose will be achieved by promoting positive outcomes for both the natural and built environments, ensuring that use, development and protection of resources only occurs within prescribed environmental limits and that the adverse effects of activities on the environment are avoided, remedied or mitigated. 

The Strategic Planning Act would provide a framework for mandatory regional spatial planning for both land and the coastal marine area. The purpose of the Act would be to set long-term strategic goals and facilitate the integration of legislative functions across the resource management system. These would include functions exercised under the NBEA and other legislation to enable land and resource planning to be better integrated with the provision of infrastructure as well as associated funding and investment.

The Managed Retreat and Climate Change Adaptation Act would establish an adaptation fund to enable central and local government to support necessary steps to address the effects of climate change and would also deal with the many complex legal and technical issues involved in the process of managed retreat.

The Report is broadly supported by many relevant organisations, including the Association of Resource Management Practitioners (RMLA), the Employment and Manufacturers Association, the Environmental Defence Society, Infrastructure New Zealand, Property Council New Zealand and Business New Zealand.

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