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6. Resource management arrangements

This section outlines the modified resource management powers given to Environment Canterbury (ECan) under the Environment Canterbury (Temporary Commissioners and Improved Water Management) Act 2010 and the arrangements that will continue past 2016.

Overview

The Environment Canterbury (Temporary Commissioners and Improved Water Management) Act 2010 gave modified Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) powers to the Commissioners at ECan.

These powers allowed ECan to place a moratorium on new consents for fresh water takes, impose Water Conservation Orders (usually a function of the Environment Court) and limit the appeal rights to the Environment Court for plans relating to freshwater.

The power of limited appeal rights will still be needed after the expiry of the Environment Canterbury (Temporary Commissioners and Improved Water Management) Act 2010 for key planning documents that are being progressed under the Commissioners. To ensure continuity and consistency of processes and timely completion of outstanding plans and changes, the powers will remain applicable to consents and plans notified before the 2019 local authority elections. After the 2019 local authority elections, ECan will revert to the standard RMA planning framework for plans and plan changes that have not yet been notified. Intended RMA Reforms may provide for a new collaborative process or a streamlined planning process at that time.

The powers relating to Water Conservation Orders and moratoria on new consents will be allowed to expire at the 2016 local authority elections.

Limited appeal rights to remain until the 2019 elections

  • ECan will retain powers relating to limited appeal rights after the 2016 local authority elections. These powers will cease at the 2019 local authority elections.
  • Consents and plans notified by ECan before the 2019 local authority elections will be processed under the modified resource management powers as a transitional measure.