RMLA Action Plan for RMLA Engagement in Resource Management Reform Project

Updated: 29 June 2021


  1. The Government has announced its intention to reform the resource management system.
  2. This will involve the repeal of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and its replacement with a Natural and Built Environments Act (NBEA), together with the introduction of two new Acts:
    1. a Strategic Planning Act (SPA); and
    2. a Managed Retreat and Climate Change Adaptation Act (CCA).
  3. This Action Plan sets out how RMLA intends to engage in the reform process.


  1. RMLA’s objectives in engaging in the resource management reform process are to influence the reforms in a manner that promotes:
    1. Resource management processes that are legally sound, effective and efficient, equitable, and which produce high quality environmental outcomes;
    2. Excellence in resource management policy and practice;
    3. An understanding by our members, and the public, of the reforms and how the transition to the new system will work.
  2. The way in which we engage, and our wider communications on the reform project, are intended to:
    1. Position RMLA as a conduit between Government and practitioners and ensure that RMLA is heard at government decision-making level (by Ministers, select committees, officials (MfE, DoC, EPA, MBIE, etc), local government, iwi/hapū/Māori);
    2. Enable RMLA to engage with other stakeholders including developers, iwi/hapū/Māori, communities, other professional organisations and advocacy organisations, in order to be as widely informed as possible;
    3. Enhance RMLA’s profile as a trusted advisor and independent thought leader, and to show that we are positioned for the future;
    4. Give our members’ confidence that RMLA is actively engaged in the reform process at a high level, and that they are able to contribute to this. 

The Government’s process


  1. NBEA exposure draft has now been released. The exposure draft will contain the main structure and headings of the full NBEA, with some parts (i.e. the replacement for Part 2 of the RMA) fully drafted.
  2. 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.
  3. A select committee inquiry into the exposure draft will occur between May 2021 and the end of 2021. This is the main opportunity for public (including key stakeholder) input.
  4. Direct engagement with local government, central government agencies and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is also anticipated. We do not expect this to extend to stakeholder / practitioner organisations such as RMLA.
  5. 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.
  6. The NBEA, SPA and CCA will be introduced to Parliament at the end of 2021.
  7. There will be a further select committee process for the NBEA, SPA and CCA during 2022, but it is not anticipated that significant changes will be made to key provisions of the NBEA at that stage.
  8. The NBEA, SPA and CCA are expected to be passed towards the end of 2022.
  9. The SPA and CCA will not have an exposure draft process but will be developed in parallel with the NBEA.


  1. MFE will be the lead agency for the NBEA and SPA. Minister Shaw’s office will be the lead agency for the CCA.
  2. The Minister will seek 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 CCA.
  3. 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.

RMLA Actions

Action Entity/person responsible
February 2021 – May 2021 (pre-exposure draft):
Continue to profile the Randerson Report recommendations through short pieces in NewsBrief.

Through the Editorial Committee and Board, and Academic Advisory Group, encourage contributions to RMLA publications that relate to the Randerson report and the RM reforms (ongoing).

KH portfolio holders and KH Leaders

Editorial Committee and Board

Academic Advisory Group

Develop a Communications Plan to assist with positioning RMLA as an important voice in the RM reform conversation. External Communications Consultant and NC Exec
Activate RMLA networks (regional committees, Knowledge Hubs, Academic Advisory Group) – discuss how they would like to gather input following release of the exposure draft.  Request that each regional committee appoints a member to review the NBEA. KH and Regional Portfolio Holders
Rename RMLA Knowledge Hub: RMA Policy and Review as Resource Management Policy and Reform.  Advise of name change in weekly bulletin update and direct advice to KH leaders.  NB this name may change again in response to a change to the name of RMLA Executive Officer
Plan to profile reforms at 2021 Conference through speech from Minister Parker and workshop led by Knowledge Hub Resource Management Policy and Reform leader Conference Committee

KH Resource Management Policy and Reform leader

Roadshow organisers to gather feedback relevant to reforms and provide to National Committee.  Implementation roadshow to specifically address implementation issues relevant to the reforms.  RMLA to have oversight of / input into report to Minister arising from implementation roadshow Implementation roadshow and other roadshow organisers / NC Exec
Seek MFE views on whether RMLA could usefully provide feedback now on any aspects eg the “Part 2” provisions, which are assumed to be as per Randerson Report. RMLA Executive
Follow up letter to Minister Parker re Writing the Minister again (perhaps along with LGNZ and NZPI again), re-raising the issue of the need to properly think about resourcing/implementation RMLA Executive
May 2021 – end 2021 (post-exposure draft):
Press release and direct email to members on the exposure draft. RMLA President /Executive Officer
Produce survey that asks questions on key issues arising in the exposure draft.  Publish for member input.  Promote through direct email and NewsBrief Resource Management Policy and Reform KH Leader / NC Exec / Executive Officer
June – July: Knowledge Hubs to hold online hui to gather members’ input on the exposure draft (using survey or other content as relevant to the Knowledge Hub). Potential topics to include:-        Integration between the 3 Acts-        Transitioning national direction into the NBEA and providing for new national direction-        Implementation (looking beyond the words on the page) Knowledge Hub leaders
June – July: Regional Committees to seek input from their members.  Focus of the regional member survey to be framed around region specific issues to try and avoid repetition with the national survey. Regional Committee chairs
June – July: Academic Advisory Group to hold online hui to gather academic members’ input on the exposure draft (using survey or other content as relevant to the Knowledge Hub). Academic Advisory Group
Profile reforms at 2021 Conference through speech from Minister Parker and workshop led by Knowledge Hub Resource Management Policy and Reform leader Conference Committee

Knowledge Hub Resource Management Policy and Reform leader

Executive to address key issues in quarterly MFE meetings (ongoing)  NC Exec
Executive to request additional direct meetings with MFE to discuss key issues if necessary (ongoing)  NC Exec
National Committee to arrange direct discussions with strategic relationships to discuss key issues  (ongoing) NC Exec / Strategic Relationships portfolio
Draft submission on exposure draft Reform KH Leader / NC Exec (with full NC review)

Offers to assist:

Doug Fairgray (KH Portfolio) and Blair Dickie (KH Climate)

Publish draft submission for member feedback Executive Officer
Present to Select Committee on exposure draft Reform KH Leader /RMLA President
Regular NewsBrief articles on matters of relevance to the reforms (ongoing) All national committee, Knowledge Hub leaders and regional chairs
Media commentary in response to requests (ongoing)  RMLA President
2022 (post-introduction of Bills)
Begin consideration of potential change of RMLA’s english name (Association for Resource Management Practitioners) and acronym.  Survey members to ascertain appetite for change and generate ideas. NB there is no intention to change the Te Reo name (Te Kahui Ture Taiao). This name was given in 2015 and remains appropriate Executive Officer
Review SPA and CCA Reform KH Leader / NC Exec / other interested NC or KH members
Press release and email to members on SPA and CCA content RMLA President
Online survey for members on SPA and CCA content Reform KH Leader / NC Exec / Executive Officer
Draft submissions on NBEA, SPA, CCA Reform KH Leader / NC Exec / other interested NC  or KH members
Publish draft submission for member feedback Executive Officer
Present to select committee Reform KH Leader / RMLA President


KH = Knowledge Hub
NC = National Committee
NC Exec = National Committee Exec (President/Secretary/Treasurer)
AAG = Academic Advisory Group