State of the Environment monitoring and reporting

This page reports on State of the Environment monitoring and reporting. 

About State of the Environment monitoring and reporting

Local authorities' State of the Environment monitoring and reporting typically describes the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the environment and how these characteristics have varied over time. It may also describe pressures on the environment, the impacts of these pressures and the local authority’s responses to identified pressures. This information is important because it highlights whether a resource management regime is achieving the local authority’s and the community’s aspirations for the environment.

RMA reporting requirements

Section 35(2)(a) requires local authorities to monitor the state of the whole or any part of the environment to the extent that is appropriate to enable the local authority to effectively carry out its functions under the RMA. Monitoring must also reference any indicators or other matters prescribed by regulation.


  • 22 local authorities monitored the state of the whole or any part of the environment:
    • 10 regional councils
    • 7 territorial authorities
    • 5 unitary authorities.
  • This compares with 42 local authorities in 2010/11 and 29 local authorities in 2012/13, as recorded by the RMA Survey of Local Authorities. 

Download the complete dataset for complaints, monitoring, compliance and enforcement [Excel, 733 KB]. 

Limitations and local authority practices

Section 35 of the RMA does not specify a reporting cycle or require local authorities to publish the results of State of the Environment monitoring. Based upon the information collected through the National Monitoring System, it is therefore unclear whether or not local authorities are carrying out monitoring in accordance with section 35(2)(a). 

Section 35(3) does however require a local authority to keep reasonably available at its principal office, information which is relevant to the administration of policy statements and plans, the monitoring of resource consents and current issues relating to the environment of the area.

See the Act

For more information on the RMA related to this page see the following section of the Act on the New Zealand Legislation website.

Section 35 of the RMA [New Zealand Legislation website]