Improving resource management
Visit our full Resource Management policy
PR: John Key – RMA changes to support
growth, create jobs
PR: Nick Smith – Clear choice for voters on
Sensible management of our resources is
critical to protect the environment and promote stronger economic growth, to
create higher-paid jobs and build a more prosperous New Zealand.
National is committed to the underlying
principles of the Resource Management Act (RMA), including sustainable
management, an effects-based approach, and community involvement in decisions
on public resources.
Simplifying and streamlining the RMA
National’s reform programme has been about
simplifying and streamlining RMA processes, providing stronger central
government direction, and addressing problems in areas such as infrastructure,
water and aquaculture.
Our phase 1 reforms involved 150 amendments
to simplify and streamline the RMA, to reduce costs, uncertainties, and delays.
This has improved outcomes for the environment, supported business investment,
and encouraged stronger economic growth.
Our phase 2 reforms will reduce delays
around medium-sized projects, improve freshwater management, and better manage
natural hazard risks. We will also better align the RMA’s planning processes
with transport and local government planning.
We will continue to ensure that the
sustainable use of our resources goes hand-in-hand with stronger economic
Simplified and streamlined the Resource
- Made 150 amendments to the RMA to reduce
delays, uncertainties, and costs – the biggest reform of the RMA since 1991.
- Removed frivolous, vexatious, and
anti-competitive objections that can add thousands of dollars to consent
- Removed the Ministerial veto on coastal
- Improved plan development and plan change
processes, and resource consent processes.
- Strengthened compliance by increasing
penalties and providing for a wider range of enforcement.
- Established the Environmental Protection
Authority (EPA) as a stand-alone Crown agency.
- Appointed a Technical Advisory Group to
review Sections 6 and 7 of the RMA.
Sped up consent processing
- Established priority consenting through the
EPA for projects of national significance, limiting the consent period to nine
- Required councils to provide a discount for
late processing of resource consents to reduce delays.
Provided greater Central Government
- Developed National Policy Statements on:
- Renewable energy generation
- Fresh water management
- Coastal management.
- Introduced spatial planning for city
- Streamlined resource
management processes to speed up land remediation work.
- Fast-tracked Lyttelton Port reclamation for
disposing earthquake rubble and supported the Burwood recycling facility and
the re-use of demolished building material.
1. Ensure responsible
resource management supports the government’s growth objectives
- Introduce a six-month statutory time limit on
the consenting of medium-sized projects.
- Strengthen urban
design provisions and simplify planning processes in line with the “Competitive
Cities” discussion paper.
- Further reform is
needed to streamline the planning process and get durable outcomes for all
- Review the criteria that persons exercising
functions and powers under the RMA are required to recognise, provide for, and
have particular regard to.
2. Simplify plan-making
- Improve the plan-making process between
resource management, transport, and local government.
3. Revise Sections 6 and 7 of the RMA
- Better address natural hazard risks.
- Better manage the growth of our urban
- Repeal and replace the Soil Conservation and
Rivers Control, and Land Drainage Acts.
4. Improve water management
- Progress the Land and Water Forum’s
recommendations to improve freshwater management, quality, and allocation.
5. Encourage collaborative agreements
- Provide incentives for parties in RMA
proceedings to collaborate and agree on solutions to environmental problems.