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About the Resource Management Amendment Act 2013

This page has information on the Resource Management Amendment Act 2013. It links to fact sheets which summarise the main changes and to guidance for practitioners. 

Link to the amendment Act

Resource Management Amendment Act 2013 [New Zealand Legislation website]

Purpose of the amendments

The purpose of these reforms was to help create a resource management system that delivers communities’ planning needs, enables growth, and provides strong environmental outcomes in a timely and cost-effective way. 

Reforms made by the Resource Management Amendment Act 2013 include:

  • improving the resource consent regime
  • a streamlined process for Auckland's first unitary plan
  • a six-month time limit for processing consents for medium-sized projects
  • easier direct referral to the Environment Court for major regional projects
  • stronger requirements for councils to base their planning decisions on robust and thorough cost-benefit analysis.

Fact sheets

These seven fact sheets explain the details of the amendments.

Fact sheet 1: Overview
Provides an overview of the amendments and outlines the other fact sheets in the series, which set out the main changes in detail.

Fact sheet 2: Changes to the resource consent process
Outlines the changes that apply to all resource consent applications.

Fact sheet 3: Six-month processing for notified consent applications
Outlines the changes to the resource consent process for applications that are notified and limited notified.

Fact sheet 4: Auckland Unitary Plan
Outlines the introduction of a one-off streamlined process to help deliver the first combined plan for Auckland (the Auckland Unitary Plan).

Fact sheet 5: Direct referral
Outlines the changes to direct referral provisions of the Act.

Fact sheet 6: Section 32 of the RMA
Outlines the changes to section 32 that begin three months after Royal Assent of the legislation, except for the purposes of the preparation of the first Auckland Unitary Plan where changes come into force on the day after Royal Assent.

Fact sheet 7: Minor and technical amendments
Outlines minor and technical changes including district rules for trees, environmental monitoring data, and RMA emergency provisions.


Guide to section 88 and Schedule 4
Provides guidance to practitioners on how to implement the new provisions concerning the required content of resource consent applications under section 88 and Schedule 4 of the RMA.

Guide to the six-month consenting process for notified resource consent applications
Provides guidance to practitioners on how to implement the new provisions that determine the timeframes for decision-making on fully and limited notified resource consent applications.

Guide to the Resource Management (Discount on Administrative Charges) Regulations 2010
Provides guidance to local authorities on how to implement the new regulations. The guide was updated in March 2015 for the Resource Management Amendment Act 2013.

Guide to section 32
Provides guidance to practitioners and decision-makers undertaking section 32 evaluations.

Guide to tree protection in urban environments
The Ministry has produced a guide to practitioners involved with protecting trees in urban environments.  

Direct referral guidance
The Ministry has updated the guidance on direct referral for submitters.  A guide for applicants has also been produced.

Quality Planning website update
The Quality Planning guidance notes have been updated to reflect the changes in the Resource Management Amendment Act 2013.

Find out more

Minister’s media statements on the Beehive website

Advice to select committee