The New Zealand Law Society is questioning whether a National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity is necessary.
In a submission to the Ministry for the Environment, the Law Society says it has several concerns about the proposal.
In relation to the NPS-UDC, it says planning under the Resource Management Act is about predicting and providing for the future and it is questionable whether and a further instrument adds value.
"The National Policy Statement does not resolve the tension between containing development and permitting expansion. No clear guidelines are proposed in this respect," says the Law Society.
Furthermore, The Law Society submission says the proposal fails to grapple with the issues of the infrastructure necessary to support development and without which development is constrained and frustrated.
"A narrow view is taken of "infrastructure". For example, telecommunications and electricity are omitted from the definition. And more significantly, social and economic infrastructure necessary to support both residential and business development are omitted.
The NPS also fails to address the significant challenges local authorities face in planning for climate change and the National Policy Statement needs to encompass and resolve these issues," says the Law Society.