The Government plans to introduce a short-term consenting process to fast track projects that can boost employment and economic recovery.
The COVID-19 Recovery (Fast Track Consenting) Bill (the bill) is currently being drafted
If enacted the bill would:
- fast-track resource consenting and designation processes for eligible projects
- accelerate the beginning of work on a range of different sized and located projects
- support certainty of ongoing employment and investment across New Zealand.
This would be while also achieving the Government’s objectives for economic, environmental and social wellbeing. The new Act would have a ‘sunset clause’ meaning it will be repealed two years from enactment.
We anticipate that the bill will be introduced in mid-June followed by a short select committee process. Projects would be able to use the consenting process set out in the bill once it is enacted.
Implications for the Resource Management System
The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) will remain the primary legislation to manage the built and natural environment.
The proposed legislation would not amend the RMA itself. It would only provide an alternative consenting pathway.
Environmental management safeguards would be built into the legislation.
Iwi authorities and Māori
As the bill is still being drafted we are unable to give extensive details. We can confirm that existing Treaty settlements would be upheld by this legislation.
Iwi policy technicians are participating in the development of this new legislation alongside officials.
More information about the bill
Minister's media release: Fast-track consenting to get shovel-ready projects moving [Beehive website]