About the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017

This page has information about the legislative changes made through the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017.

Link to the Act

Overview of the changes

The Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (RLAA) represents the Government’s second phase of reform of the Resource Management Act (RMA). It contains close to 40 amendments and makes significant changes to five different Acts, consequently amending several others. This is the most comprehensive package of reforms to the RMA since its inception 26 years ago.

Together these changes aim to deliver substantive improvements to the resource management system to support more effective environmental management and drive capacity for development and economic growth. In particular the amendments aim to provide stronger national direction, a more responsive planning process, a streamlined resource consent process and better alignment with other legislation.

The RLAA amends five different Acts: the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), Conservation Act 1986, Reserves Act 1977, Public Works Act 1981, and Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2013. Consequential changes have also been made to other Acts.

For more information see: Overview of changes introduced by the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 [PDF, 498 KB]


RLAA obtained Royal Assent on 18 April 2017. Some of the changes to the RMA take immediate effect. Other changes have transitional periods specified in the RLAA (eg, the majority of changes to the resource consent process come into force six months after enactment, on 18 October 2017).

The following checklist sets out the actions that councils need to take to implement these changes immediately and over time.

Council checklist: Implementing requirements from the Resource Management Amendment Act (2017)

RLAA fact sheets

The following 16 fact sheets provide information about the changes to the RMA, including specific timeframes that apply.

1 - New options for national direction

2 - Revised functions for RMA decision makers

3 - Changes to Maori participation in the RMA

4 - Changes to the standard planning track

5 - A new optional streamlined planning process

6 - A new optional collaborative planning process

7 - Changes to heritage protection under the RMA

8 - New consent exemption and fast-track processes

9 - Changes to resource consent notification

10 - New matters to consider for resource consents and designations

11 - Fixed charges must be published, and regulations may set fixed charge requirements

12 - Alignment of Conservation Act and Reserves Act processes with the RMA

13 - Changes to public notices, electronic servicing and submission strike out

14 - Changes to objections and Environment Court processes

15 - Changes to the board of inquiry process

16 - Changes to land acquisition under the Public Works Act

Other material

Planning tracks summary comparison

  • Comparison of the standard, streamlined and collaborative planning processes, including potential costs, benefits, opportunities and risks for each process.

Form to apply to the Minister for the Environment for a streamlined planning process

  • An application form for councils to submit their request to the Minister for the Environment to approve the use of the streamlined planning process, including information requirements.

Process map on joint reserve exchange and RMA process initiation

  • A flowchart for council staff to determine whether a joint hearing and decision-making process can be used for a reserve exchange request and RMA application (plan change request or resource consent application).

Find out more

Media releases and speeches about the reforms

Advice to select committee

Regulatory impact statements

The following regulatory impact statements detail the original policy proposals of the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill.

Cabinet papers related to the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill