New Zealand Law Society - Two-stage RMA reform process announced

Two-stage RMA reform process announced

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Environment Minister David Parker has announced a two-stage process to reform the resource management system.

He says the changes are separate from legislation to set up an Urban Development Authority to fast-track housing and urban development projects.

Details of the proposed changes released by the Ministry for the Environment say the government plans to introduce an amendment bill to Parliament in early 2019.

It says the bill will address particular issues with resource consenting, enforcement and Environment Court provisions within the RMA.

It may also include some other policy proposals currently under development. The aim of the bill is to make the RMA less complex, give people more certainty on RMA issues and to increase public participation.

Stage two of the reform programme will involve a comprehensive review of the resource management system. This will begin in 2019.

The ministry says that while the scope is still being worked through, the review will provide an opportunity for fundamental system changes to support a more productive, sustainable and inclusive economy.