Knowledge Hubs

Resource Management Review

As you will have seen, the Government has recently announced a comprehensive overhaul New Zealand’s resource management system. This process will be led by a Resource Management Review Panel, to be chaired by Hon Tony Randerson QC. While the review will focus on the Resource Management Act 1991, it is also to consider how that Act interacts with the Local Government Act 2002, the Land Transport Management Act 2003 and the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act, once passed.

Under the draft Terms of Reference (“ToR”) that have been released for public comment, (https://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default/files/media/RMA/draft-tor-comprehensive-review-resource-management-system-final.pdf), the Panel has been tasked with considering a range of issues. These include whether we need a new urban development law, separate from a law to manage natural resources such as rivers and soils. The correct legislative “home” for Part 2 of the RMA (i.e. whether this should stay in the RMA, or be moved to separate legislation) is also in scope.

The Panel is required to produce an “Issues and Options” paper to generate debate and feedback by the end of October 2019. Their final report is due to the Minister by the end of May 2020.

Given those tight timeframes, RMLA will be co-ordinating its inputs into the review process via the RMA Policy and Review KnowledgeHub. All RMLA input on the review process will be aligned with the RMLA’s objective, which is to promote best practice in the implementation of environmental policy and law, including through education, debate and commentary.

The first step is to provide a submission on the Panel’s draft ToR by 30 August 2019. This submission should focus on the “Key Issues” that the review has been asked to address, as included in Appendix 1 to the ToR. Any members who wish to contribute to that submission should provide that input (via email to karol.helmink@rmla.org.nz and helen@berrysimons.co.nz) by 5pm on Tuesday 27 August 2019.

Once the ToR are finalised, we will circulate the principles that will guide RMLA’s ongoing approach to this review. We will then look to work with the Panel members to identify helpful suggestions for reform that align with those principles and RMLA’s overall objective, as outlined above. We will also elicit feedback from members throughout the process via mechanisms such as regional focus groups, “straw polls” in the Friday NewsBrief and KnowledgeHub communications.

So keep a lookout for notification of those future engagement opportunities. We look forward to hearing and co-ordinating your ideas on this exciting and important reform project.