National policy statements (NPSs) are instruments issued under section 52(2) of the Resource Management Act 1991.
NPSs enable Government to prescribe objectives and policies for matters of national significance which are relevant to achieving the sustainable management purpose of the RMA. A NPS may also give particular direction to local authorities as to how they need to give effect to the policies and objectives of the NPS.
The only mandatory NPS is the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, which is prepared by the Minister of Conservation. Other NPSs are optional and are authorised by the Minister for the Environment.