RMA reform Bill passes second reading

The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill has passed its second reading in Parliament 61-59.

The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill is the largest package of reforms to the Resource Management Act (RMA) since it was first passed 25 years ago. It contains 40 proposals that make significant changes to five different Acts: Resource Management Act 1991; Reserves Act 1977; Public Works Act 1981; Conservation Act 1987; and the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012.

This is the second phase of the Government’s resource management reforms, and the dozen significant provisions in the Bill include:

  • National planning standards
  • Streamlined planning process
  • Discretion for councils to exempt an activity from consents
  • Strengthening of requirements to manage natural hazard risks
  • New 10-day consent category for minor activities
  • New requirements for council to free up land for housing
  • New provisions to enable stock exclusion from waterways
  • New provisions requiring decommissioning plans for offshore platforms
  • More generous compensation for land required for public works
  • More alignment with other Acts like Reserves, Conservation and EEZ
  • Collaborative planning process
  • Maori participation arrangements

Minister for the Environment Dr Nick Smith said that talks are on-going with the Maori Party.

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