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Resource Management Act Review

Resource Management Act Review

Resource Management Act Review

Tuesday 30 July, 2019

On 24 July 2019, David Parker, Minister for the Environment announced that the Government is establishing an expert advisory group to undertake a wide review of the RMA, including how it interrelates with transport, climate change and local government laws. The group will provide an 'options and issues' paper seeking feedback by the end of October 2019, and a final report to the Minister by the end of May 2020 with proposed draft legislative changes.

The Government does not intend to pass these changes prior to the 2020 election, so the priority for the review is establishing high level framework for an improved resource management system, rather than trying to fix specific problems with the current legislation. The expert advisory group’s key objectives are to:

  • Remove unnecessary complexity from the RMA;
  • Strengthen environmental “bottom lines” and consider whether Part 2 of the RMA should be a separate piece of legislation;
  • Design a system for land use regulation and environmental protection that will address current and future challenges;
  • Consider whether local government is best placed to perform resource management functions;
  • Ensuring that Maori have a role in the resource management system.

In the meantime, the Government intends to introduce a Bill to amend the RMA in the next few months to address urgent issues, such as improving freshwater quality and urban development, protecting highly productive land and indigenous biodiversity, and reducing waste.  

This review of the RMA has the potential to significantly impact all local and regional councils and we will keep you updated on developments. 

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