Section 32 of the RMA – A Legal Overview
By Maree Baker-Galloway – Anderson Lloyd, and Heather Ash – Simpson Grierson
Sections 32, 32AA and 32A of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) set out a framework for evaluation reports for national environmental standards, national and regional policy statements and regional and district plans (or changes or variations to those documents), prior to notification and prior to the decision being notified. Section 32 (s 32) has been the subject of a number of amendments since the inception of the RMA. The most recent amendments, by the Resource Management Amendment Act 2013, materially change the requirements for, and implications of, s 32 evaluations. The amendments took effect on 4 September 2013, for the purposes of the preparation of the first Auckland combined plan under Part 4 of the Local Government (Auckland Transitional Provisions) Act 2010 (LGATPA), and apply to other policy statements or plans other than those for which the last day for making further submissions was before 3 December 2013.