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5. Implementing the Proposed NES

5.1 Who would be responsible for implementing and monitoring the NES?

Territorial and regional authorities would be responsible for giving effect to, and enforcing the requirements of, the NES. The proposed NES has been developed to give effect to the functions of territorial and regional authorities under sections 30 and 31 of the RMA.

5.2 How would the NES affect existing plans?

In general, an NES overrides a rule in a plan. A rule in a plan:

  • cannot be more lenient than an NES
  • can specify that an activity (that is permitted by the standard) is permitted, subject to terms and conditions to regulate effects not covered by the standard
  • can be more stringent if the NES specifically allows a rule in a plan to be more stringent.

It is not intended that the NES will require councils to immediately change their plans to reflect the NES. The NES is intended to override any rules in plans that relate to the effects of forestry within the scope of the NES.

It is anticipated that any inconsistency between plans and the NES can be removed during the course of plan reviews that would occur in the normal course of events.

There may be continuing overlap where the NES permits activities but has reserved the ability for a council to have more stringent rules when certain effects occur or circumstances exist.

There may also be cases where councils apply more stringent conditions for activities. The result of this situation may be that activities that are subject to more stringent tests and certain activities may default to requiring a resource consent. Some existing plans will have existing activity controls that could take effect immediately and operate together with the NES. Other local authorities may wish to amend their plans in order to achieve this.

5.3 How would the proposed NES affect existing and new resource consents?

The proposed NES will not directly affect existing resource consents unless a consent authority chooses to apply section 128 of the RMA to review consent conditions. If that is the case, depending on the context it may be relevant to consider the NES.

The intention is that the NES will apply to any new designation or application for resource consent that is lodged after the NES comes into effect. Where an application for resource consent has been made before the NES comes into effect, the intention is that the application does not have to comply with the requirements of the NES if the decision on whether to notify it has been made before the date on which the standard is notified in the gazette.

Where the decision on notification or non-notification pre-dates the gazettal of the NES, the consent will prevail over the NES unless the NES expressly provides otherwise. However, the intention is that the application does not have to comply with the requirements of the NES in this situation.

The NES will apply to any new designation or application for resource consent that is lodged, or in respect of which a notification decision is made, after the NES comes into effect.

Questions:

82. Do you see any problems complying with the proposed NES or with enforcing it?

83. Are the thresholds for determining whether resource consent is required clear and appropriate?

84. Do you have any comment on how this proposal would work in with your regional or district plan?