About the RMA

The Resource Management Act (RMA) is New Zealand’s main piece of legislation that sets out how we should manage our environment. The RMA was created to achieve a more coordinated, streamlined, and comprehensive approach to environmental management. The RMA came into force in October 1991, and replaced or amended more than 50 other laws relating to town planning and resource management.

This section explains the purpose of the RMA and the roles and responsibilities of central and local government, requiring authorities, and the Minister for the Environment under the RMA. It also provides a glossary of Resource Management Act terminology.

In this section

  • An overview of the roles and responsibilities of the primary governing and decision-making authorities under the RMA: central government, local government, ministerial, requiring authorities, and heritage protection authorities.
  • Definitions of Resource Management Act terminology.