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Conclusion

 

[276]     In accordance with its terms of reference, the Board reports that it:

  • has inquired into the proposed NPS;
  • has engaged with Māori submitters;
  • has considered all submissions and further submissions made, and all the evidence given;
  • has addressed the contents and subject-matter of the NPS;
  • has refined the issues, objectives and policies to more fully achieve the policy approach;
  • has addressed the internal consistency of the NPS as a whole, and removed potential inconsistencies;
  • has addressed the wording of the NPS, including that of the objectives and policies, and improved it;
  • has considered the certainty and clarity provided by the NPS, and improved it;
  • has considered the possibility of unintended or unforeseen but likely outcomes, and avoided them;

and recommends the amendments to the content of the proposed NPS that have been incorporated in the recommended NPS at Appendix C so that it will more fully serve the purpose of the RMA.

[277]     The Board has set out in this report its reasons for its conclusions on considering the submissions, further submissions and evidence.

[278]     The Board has also considered how local authorities should, in accordance with section 55, give effect to the NPS, and whether or not some changes needed to regional policy statements or regional plans would be best achieved by direct insertion into regional policy statements or plans under section 55(2A)(b). Its consideration of those questions is influenced by the further amendments made to section 55 by the 2009 Amendment Act27 since the Board was constituted and its terms of reference established.

[279]     Regional policy statements have to give effect to national policy statements.28 Regional councils have to consider the desirability of preparing or changing regional plans for implementation of a national policy statement.29 Regional plans have to give effect to a national policy statement.30 Consent authorities considering resource consent applications and territorial authorities considering requirements for designations have to have regard to a national policy statement.31

[280]     In addition, if a national policy statement directs, a regional council has to amend a regional policy statement, or a plan, to include specific objectives and policies set out in the national policy statement, or so that objectives and policies specified in the document give effect to the objectives and policies specified in the statement.32 Those amendments are to be made without using the Schedule 1 process.33 A national policy statement is able to include transitional provisions.34

[281]     The Board recommends that the NPS direct regional councils to make or change regional plans (without using the Schedule 1 process) to the extent needed to ensure the plans include transitional provisions on water quantity and quality management in Policies D10 and E4 respectively. The changes would require resource consent (as discretionary activities) for changes of land uses, activities, taking, using, damming and diverting or draining of wetlands and specify criteria by which applications are to be assessed. That would provide interim control during the period in which amendments to regional plans are prepared and made under the Schedule 1 process to give effect to the NPS.

[282]     In summary, the Board recommends for the Minister’s favourable consideration the revised version of the NPS at Appendix C.

[283]     The Board thanks all the many individuals and organisations who made submissions or further submissions, and all who gave evidence at the public hearings.

Dated at Christchurch this 28th day of January 2010.

Judge David Sheppard (Chair)                              
Mr Kevin Prime (Member)
Associate Professor Jon Harding (Member) 
Mrs Jenni Vernon (Member)

Endnotes


27. Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Act 2009, s53.

28. RMA, s62(3).

29. RMA, s65(3).

30. RMA, s67(3).

31. RMA, s104(1)(B)(iii) and s171(1).

32. RMA, s55(2).

33. RMA, s55(2A).

34. RMA, s55(4).