Press Releases

RMLA Welcomes the introduction of two Bills that will replace the Resource Management Act

“The Natural and Built Environments Bill and Spatial Planning Bill have a serious mission to accomplish” said RMLA President Sally Gepp.  “Their job is to ensure that people protect the environment, and that the environment provides for people.  This is no easy task, but we are optimistic that the new laws are a step forward.” A clear focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as an outcome to be achieved through the resource management system is long overdue. Other key components of the Bills include a focus on environmental limits and targets, principles for how resources are allocated, and a significant reduction in the number of existing resource management plans – from around 112 to just 15.  Housing supply is expected to benefit, with planning and consenting decisions that are intended to be simpler, faster and cheaper.  RMLA is pleased to see the Bills’ focus on upholding Treaty settlements and ensuring Māori maintain decision-making and participation roles at both a regional and national level.

However there are also many new and uncertain concept which RMLA believes will benefit from fine-tuning through the Select Committee process. “No-one benefits from uncertainty so RMLA, as New Zealand’s association for resource management practitioners, and will be drawing on its members’ collective experiences to provide detailed feedback on the Bills” said Gepp.

RMLA will also be highlighting to Government the importance of ensuring that the capacity and capability of the resource management sector is supported and enhanced.  “Everyone has heard the horror stories of Councils who are unable to process consents because they just don’t have the planners to work on them.  And the pinch points are not limited to Councils. We want to see a strong and well-equipped sector that can make the new legislation work as intended.  We don’t want to see the system blamed just because we don’t have the skilled people needed to make it work”.

Sally Gepp