Resource Management ReformLast updated: August 16, 2021
Environment & Infrastructure
Resource Management Reform
Published: August 16, 2021
Issue for Business: Allow for greater and faster economic development while working within environmental limits
Action: After many years of disquiet with the current Resource Management Act (RMA), from a broad cross-section of society, the Government undertook a review chaired by former Appeal Court Judge Tony Randerson. The Randerson Report was released mid-2020 and called for wide-ranging reforms to the RMA, including replacing it with 3 separate Acts: 1. Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA), providing for land use and environmental regulation (this will be the primary replacement for the RMA. 2. Strategic Planning Act (SPA), requiring the development of long-term regional spatial strategies to coordinate and integrate decisions made under relevant legislation. 3. Climate Change Adaptation Act (CCA), addressing complex issues associated with managed retreat and the funding and financing of adaptation.
Outcome: An Exposure Draft on the National and Built Environments Bill (the first of the 3 Bills proposed to replace the current RMA) was referred to the Environment Select Committee. BusinessNZ has made both a written and oral submission to the Select Committee (see submission below) which outlined a number of concerns with the current Exposure Draft Bill, including a number of key issues which are currently missing. The Select committee has approximately 3 months to digest and make recommendations on the current Bill before a report will be provided to the Minister for the Environment, Hon David Parker. Once further changes to the Bill are decided upon by the Government, a new iteration of the Bill will be introduced to Parliament (likely mid next year) which will go through the normal Parliamentary (including Select Committee) process. The remaining Bills (the SPA) will likely be introduced at the same time while the CCA will be introduced at a later stage after that. The Government is focusing on all three Bills being passed into law by the time the current Parliamentary term ends later in 2023 – a hard ask given the complexities associated with this reform process.