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RMA reform Bill gains Royal Assent

Resource Legislation Bill passes third reading

Category: national

The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill has passed through its third reading.

The 700 clause bill makes 40 significant changes to the Resource Management Act, Public Works Act, Conservation Act, Reserves Act and the Exclusive Economic Zone (Environmental Effects) Act.

Significant provisions in the Bill include:

  • National planning standards
  • Streamlined planning process
  • Discretion for councils to exempt an activity from consents
  • Strengthening of requirements to manage natural hazard risks
  • New 10-day consent category for minor activities
  • New requirements for council to free up land for housing
  • New provisions to enable stock exclusion from waterways
  • New provisions requiring decommissioning plans for offshore platforms
  • More generous compensation for land required for public works
  • Alignment with other Acts like Reserves, Conservation and EEZ
  • Collaborative planning process to encourage community-led solutions
  • Improved Maori participation arrangements

Councils will have a new power to waive the need for consents for minor issues, and a new 10-day first-tracked consent will be available. Environment Minister Nick Smith describes the Bill as “pivotal to resolving New Zealand’s long-term housing supply and affordability problems”, by introducing a specific requirement on councils to free up land, removing appeals on residential developments, reversing the presumption in favour of subdivisions and removing the double charging system of financial and development contributions.

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