RM Amendment Bill passes third reading

A law that makes crucial environmental improvements to the RMA, particularly for freshwater, has passed its third reading (25 June 2020)

“Achieving this step in the Government’s approach to reforming New Zealand’s resource management system is a significant milestone,” Environment Minister David Parker said.

“The Resource Management Amendment Bill reduces complexity, increases certainty in the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and makes significant improvements to environmental outcomes.”

It supports the Government’s Essential Freshwater package with an accelerated process for regional freshwater plan changes that will implement the new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020.

The Bill also introduces mandatory and enforceable farm environment plans and requires fertiliser sales to be reported on a regional basis.

On climate change mitigation, this Bill aligns the RMA and the Zero Carbon Act by requiring RMA decision-makers to consider the emissions reduction plans and national adaptation plans that must be published under the ZCA.

These amendments allow local authorities to consider greenhouse gas emissions in their plan-making and consenting once national direction on climate change mitigation is promulgated.