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National policy statements

National policy statements are instruments issued under section 52(2) of the Resource Management Act 1991. They state objectives and policies for matters of national significance. This page lists current and proposed national policy statements. It has information on their development and implementation. 

National policy statements in place

These national policy statements are in place:

Proposed national policy statements  

The Government has proposed:

  • updating the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. Find out more
  • a National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land. Find out more 
  • a National Policy Statement on Urban Development. Find out more
  • a National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity. We are currently consulting on this proposal. Find out more and have your say

How a national policy statement is developed

A national policy statement is usually developed in four stages: scoping, drafting, consultation and implementation. In most cases reference groups will be set up with representatives from key agencies. Reporting back to Ministers occurs after scoping has been completed and before formal consultation.

Any Minister can gain approval to scope a new topic for a national policy statement. However, the Minister for the Environment will provide an overview and advisory role when another Minister leads the initial scoping stage.

Managing the range of topics (given their sometimes overlapping nature) and the impact on local government’s capabilities to implement national policy statements and national environmental standards is a critical aspect of the work programme.

If you would like to find out more about the work programme for national policy statements, please email