Resource management system reform programme

The Government is to ensure that New Zealand’s resource management system is fit for the future by repealing and replacing the Resource Management Act. The Resource Management Review Panel provides a sound platform to advance this work. 

What the Resource Management Review Panel has proposed

The Resource Management Review Panel has proposed that the RMA be repealed and replaced by three new laws.   

  • Natural and Built Environments Act which is intended to improve the natural environment and better enable urban development.
  • Strategic Planning Act which provides for long term planning of our infrastructure needs. 
  • Managed Retreat and Climate Change Adaptation Act to deal with issues related to climate change adaptation and the managed retreat from areas threatened with inundation. 

It also recommended:

  • greater use of national direction by the Environment Minister 
  • a more streamlined process for council plan-making
  • a more efficient resource consent process.  

Any future system would give effect to the principles of Te Tiriti and provide a clearer role for mana whenua in decision-making. 

The proposed changes 

The proposed major shifts in the resource management system are:

  • planning for positive outcomes not just managing adverse effects
  • a more effective role for Māori and improved recognition of Te Tiriti
  • more integrated and strategic long-term planning 
  • a move to equitable and efficient resource allocation within environmental limits 
  • effective partnering of central and local government and iwi/Māori in planning and delivery 
  • improved evidence, monitoring, feedback and oversight.

What happens now

We anticipate Cabinet announcements on the scope, process and approach in the New Year.

For more information or to comment on the review email us at