Update from the President

Tena koutou katoa

It has been a busy week.

RMLA has met with the Minister for the Environment David Parker and Ministry officials. Both have been complimentary about the contribution that RMLA and its members make to evolving policy and laws. This is a direct result of the voluntary contributions by RMLA members. Thank you all for your commitment to take time from your busy lives to give practical, insightful feedback to proposals – it makes a difference.

We plan to seek input from members on updates on numerous upcoming proposals, particularly via Knowledge Hubs. Proposals we expect to contribute to concern highly productive soils, biodiversity, freshwater (allocation and NPS/NES/planning), HSNO, plantation forestry, waste levies, climate change-related proposals, and air quality as well as amendments to the RMA and system reform. Yes, there is a lot of work going on. If you are keen to engage in any of these proposals please make sure you sign up to the relevant Hubs by following the directions at this link

Reflecting on discussions this week, I would say that our Minister for the Environment is optimistic about progress of discussions on water system reform (see Cabinet paper here). Given the approach taken in the last election, it wouldn’t be surprising to many of you that the Minister still has water pricing on his radar and isn’t keen on a system that might involve grandfathering of water rights. Minister Parker’s enthusiasm for progress on water quality makes me suspect that we might even see some progress in that area in the upcoming RMA Amendment Bill. So watch this space. Other potential topics for that Amendment Bill are canvassed in this Cabinet paper.

This morning the Minister for the Environment has announced that the long-awaited National Planning Standards are being Gazetted today (Friday 5 April 2019) and will be in force on 3 May 2019.

Click here to read my comments to the media about the news.

Click here to read the first set of National Standards and find out how they have changed from the initial version consulted upon.

Following on from my comment a few weeks ago about the rise of discussion about the circular economy in New Zealand, you may wish to note that this week the Ministry for the Environment has supported a summit in Rotorua focused on how indigenous knowledge can inform and guide a shift towards a global circular economy. See here for more information

That’s a lot of topics covered. I hope you have a great weekend. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back on Sunday.

Ngā mihi