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Further RMA reforms

16 August 2013

AUTHOR:Kevin Birch

As part of the ongoing reforms to the Resource Management Act, the Government recently announced some proposed 2013 changes to the Act. The Minister for Economic Development, The Honorable Steven Joyce touched on some of these reforms at a function last evening.

The reforms include

  • A requirement for councils to work together to develop a single, electronically accessible plan covering all the rules in their area.

  • A new national planning template that sets out the structure and key content all councils must follow in the development of their resource management plans.

  • A more balanced approach to planning and consent decision-making.  This includes providing access to lower cost, faster objections and appeals.

  • New consenting rules and processes to improve timeframes for simpler consents and to provide incentives to make decisions early in the planning process rather than leave them to litigation down the track on individual consents.

  • A stronger Ministerial intervention tool for use as a last resort.  This will ensure legislative requirements and national direction are reflected in council plans.

These changes will be incorporated into further amendments to the Act later this year. The Government’s view of the RMA is that it should not be discouraging or limiting appropriate economic growth or development, and the changes that have been made and that are proposed to be made to the Act reflect this thinking.