Development phases for the first set of National Planning Standards

This page outlines how we are developing the first set of National Planning Standards. We are currently in the submissions and standards refinement phase.

Draft first set of National Planning Standards and supporting documents

Phases of stakeholder input

We have sought significant stakeholder input during the planning standards two-year development to help ensure they are robust and workable.

There were three key phases where we sought input.  You can still email with queries on the planning standards at any time.

Initial engagement phase: April–July 2017

We released all research reports and discussion papers on the planning standards topics. These papers set the context and issues, informed readers about research on a topic, and identified and discussed options to encourage debate on what the planning standards should contain.

See the Discussion papers on the first set of national planning standards

We partnered with The New Zealand Planning Institute and the Resource Management Law Association to run regional workshops on the planning standards. These enabled members to discuss the approach and options in the technical papers with their peers.
See the summary of feedback from the regional workshops

Resource management practitioner representatives were also invited to use an online shared workspace to debate the discussion papers with their peers. This was during the initial engagement, and the drafting and testing phases.

From April 2017–March 2018 council staff members could subscribe to the LGConnect email discussion group on the Resource Legislation Amendment Act. See the LGConnect website.

Drafting and testing phase: June 2017–May 2018

We provided initial drafts of the planning standards to select groups, including members of the Pilot Council programme, for targeted feedback. This helped us to find out how the standards could function within existing plans and policy statements.

Submissions and standards refinement phase: June 2018–January 2019

The Minister for the Environment and Minister of Conservation notified the draft planning standards for public written submissions on 6 June 2018. The Ministers have established a process that gives the public, local authorities and iwi authorities adequate time and opportunity to make submissions on the draft.

We held a series of lunchtime presentations in regional centres. The New Zealand Planning Institute and the Resource Management Law Association again helped to organise these roadshows. At these sessions we gave an overview of the draft planning standards and were available to answer questions. These sessions were open to everyone to attend. We sought detailed, evidence based submissions on the draft planning standards.

After we have considered all submissions, we will prepare a report and recommendations to Ministers on the submissions and the detail of the drafts. They may make changes to the draft planning standards.

Implementation phase: April 2019–April 2024

We will work with councils to incorporate the gazetted planning standards into their plans and policy statements. We will seek ongoing feedback on how the planning standards are working to ensure they are useful to councils over time.

For key aspects of the implementation phase including timeframes and directions see Implementing the first set of National Planning Standards.

Testing the draft planning standards

Pilot councils

More than 25 councils registered their interest in joining a ‘pilot council’ group. This group has been trialing and providing feedback on the workability of drafts as they have been prepared.

Māori Advisory Group

A reference group of iwi planning practitioners has helped to guide the development of the draft planning standards from the perspective of Māori concerns and interests and has advised on iwi engagement.


The Minister for the Environment must approve the first set of National Planning Standards (planning standards) by 18 April 2019.

The timeline below sets out the development phases.

Find out more

For further information on the planning standards and the development programme email: