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This document contains the evaluation for the Minister for the Environment, as required under section 32 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), of the proposed National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. A section 32 evaluation considers the appropriateness, alternatives, costs and benefits of a proposed national policy statement, along with its objectives and policies. This evaluation is substantially based on an evaluation carried out by independent consultants, Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner Ltd (Beca), who were commissioned by the Ministry for the Environment.

In addition to this evaluation, an independent board of inquiry is to be appointed to inquire into and report on the proposed National Policy Statement to the Minister for the Environment. This report will be provided to the board of inquiry. The public also have an important contribution to make by providing their feedback into the board of inquiry process, which will help in the further assessment and refinement of the proposed National Policy Statement.

A second section 32 evaluation will be undertaken once the board of inquiry has conducted its investigation (as set out in sections 48 to 51 of the RMA) and provided its report, along with any recommendations, to the Minister on the proposed National Policy Statement.