Recently, the government has been pushing for a national approach to various environmental matters, including urban development, highly productive land, and indigenous biodiversity. Freshwater was also a matter of concern, with regulations and policies introduced in 2020 aimed at regulating activities around wetlands. However, it was discovered that the initial approach lacked clarity, contained errors, and was unintentionally overregulating, leading to changes earlier this year.
The changes include a simplified definition of "natural inland wetlands" subject to regulations, specific consenting pathways for certain activities close to wetlands such as urban development, and more specific requirements triggering the need for resource consent for activities close to wetlands, such as water discharge. These changes seek to improve the catch-all approach initially introduced in 2020.
Understanding these regulations and changes is crucial as they could impact the use of land with natural inland wetlands. The documents can be difficult to understand, and if you need advice on how they might affect you, the team at Birch is available to assist. With staff in Auckland, Pukekohe, Tairua, Tauranga, and Hamilton, we are ready to help you navigate these regulations.