You are here

About the National Monitoring System

This page outlines the role and requirements of the National Monitoring System.

How it works

The NMS requires local authorities, the Environmental Protection Authority and the Ministry to provide detailed data each year on the functions, tools, and processes that they are responsible for under the RMA. 

This information helps us to:

  • align how information is captured, shared and reported with existing statutory processes and council processing systems
  • know if the Ministry, other government agencies and local authorities (city or district councils, regional councils and unitary authorities) are fulfilling their roles and responsibilities under the RMA
  • identify where legislative review or change is required and what form of legislative change is most appropriate
  • measure the success of RMA reforms
  • provide an evidence base for informing policy development under the RMA
  • determine if common concerns and perceptions of the RMA are accurate
  • identify examples of good practice that can be shared and promoted. 

The NMS builds upon and replaces the biennial RMA Survey of Local Authorities. The Survey had a number of limitations that hampered its effectiveness such as lack of: clarity, specificity, frequency, strategic purpose and national comparability.

Related initiatives

Below are other initiatives that aim to improve or support our evidence base on the performance of the resource management system.

Better Local Government

This programme aims to improve the performance of the local government system.

See Better Local Government [Department of Internal Affairs website]. 

Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) 

LAWA brings together environmental monitoring data from all of New Zealand’s regional councils, NIWA, and the Ministry for the Environment. It currently provides data about the water quality of our country’s rivers and beaches. Other data on biodiversity, land and air quality will be added.  

See the LAWA website

Local Government Geospatial Alliance

The Local Government Geospatial Alliance aims to bring together local government to enable geospatial collaboration, capability and communication. 

See the Local Government Geospatial Alliance website