Ministerial Direction on RM Reform

Tēnā koutou members

Minister Parker has today announced the process for the reform of the resource management system.  As anticipated, this will involve the repeal and replacement of the RMA within this term of government.  It will be replaced with three new Acts: a Natural and Built Environments Act (NBEA); a Strategic Planning Act (SPA); and a Managed Retreat and Climate Change Adaptation Act (CCA).  The Cabinet Paper and Ministerial press release are below.

In summary, the process will involve:

  • Progressing the NBEA first, using a special process involving development of an “exposure draft” that will be subject to a select committee inquiry ahead of legislation being formally introduced to the House.  The draft is expected to be available mid year, with consultation occurring over the second half of the year, leading to its introduction to the House at the end of this year.  It is not expected to be passed until the end of next year;
  • The exposure draft will contain the main structure and headings of the full NBEA, with certain aspects fully drafted;
  • The SPA and CAA will not have an exposure draft process but will be developed in parallel with the NBEA;
  • The Minister seeks Cabinet’s approval to establish a “Ministerial Oversight Group” (MOG) which will have delegated decision making powers to progress the exposure draft including development of policy and consultation material, and associated powers relating to the SPA and CAA;
  • Key matters of policy the MOG are expected to address include: the purpose of the NBEA; the mandatory national policies and standards to support the NBEA, which include the establishment of biophysical limits, outcome and targets; and providing for a single planning document for each region including the Coastal Marine Area;
  • The purpose and supporting provisions of the NBEA proposed by the Randerson Review Panel are proposed to be provisionally adopted, with the Minister recommending caution in departing from that drafting;
  • Direct engagement with local government, central government agencies and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is anticipated;
  • Engagement with tangata whenua is proposed to occur through a newly formed “Māori Collective” comprised of existing groups such as the National Iwi Chairs Forum and Kahui Wai Māori.  However, this engagement is proposed to occur after development of the exposure draft but before it is finally confirmed.
  • MFE will be the lead agency.

Timing summary:

  • Exposure draft of NBEA bill: available mid year
  • Introduction of NBEA and SPA to Parliament: end of 2021
  • NBEA passed: end of 2022
  • Implementation of new Acts: “a number of years”

How can you engage?

MFE has signalled that opportunities for formal engagement in the process will be limited and focussed.  RMLA will look to engage with its members on the exposure draft of the NBEA and seek to be heard through the select committee process.  We also anticipate making a formal submission on the final bills (once introduced) in the usual course.  We will be collaborating with like-minded organisations in the usual way.  We expect many of you will have opportunities to engage through your involvement in other organisations, which we encourage.  It will be important to proactively seek out these opportunities given the limited formal processes.

We are developing an engagement action plan to ensure we are well placed to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.  We will be in touch to share that document once it is finalised.

Ngā mihi

Mary Hill


 Media Release re the RMA to be repealed and replaced.

Cabinet paper