This page has information about the legislative changes made through the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017.
Link to the Act
- Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 [New Zealand Legislation website]
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 and the Resource Management (Forms, Fees and Procedure) Regulations 2003.
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.
RLAA fact sheets
The following 16 fact sheets provide information about the changes to the RMA, including specific timeframes that apply.
- Comparison of the standard, streamlined and collaborative planning processes, including potential costs, benefits, opportunities and risks for each 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.
- 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).
- A flowchart showing new step-by-step process to determine whether to give public or limited notification of resource consents; introduced by RLAA and taking effect from 18 October 2017.
- A flowchart showing the resource consent process for fast track applications, intended for council planners, practitioners, and other interested parties.
- A flowchart to assist councils with processing these applications; introduced by RLAA and taking effect from 18 October 2017.
- A technical guide for planning professionals to understand and successfully implement the changes introduced by RLAA and taking effect from 18 October 2017.
- A technical guide for consent authorities to understand and implement the changes to the notification provisions introduced by RLAA and taking effect from 18 October 2017.
Information sheets on resource management processes for general public
The following information sheets provide an overview of processes under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) for resource consents, deemed permitted boundary activities, and plan-making. These information sheets reflect changes made to the RMA through the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017.
- Information for applicants: Resource consents
- Information for applicants: Deemed permitted boundary activities
- Information for affected persons: Written approvals
- Information for submitters: Preparing a submission on a notified consent
- Information for applicants and submitters: Notified resource consents
Find out more
Media releases and speeches about the reforms
- Minister's media release: Second phase RMA Bill passed [Beehive website]
- Resource Legislation Amendment Bill Q&As [Beehive website]
Advice to select committee
Ministry for the Environment advice to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee, including departmental reports [New Zealand Parliament website].
Regulatory impact statements
The following regulatory impact statements detail the original policy proposals of the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill.
- Regulatory impact statement – Cabinet paper for policy decisions for Resource Legislation Amendment Bill Departmental Report
- Regulatory impact statement - Resource Legislation Amendment Bill
- Regulatory impact statement - Resource Legislation Amendment Bill: EEZ amendments
- Regulatory impact statement - Resource Legislation Amendment Bill: Alignment of the decision-making processes for nationally significant proposals and notified discretionary marine consents