government recently released an exposure draft of the Natural and Built
Environments Bill (the Bill). The exposure draft has been referred to the
Environment Committee to provide feedback to the government on the extent to
which the provisions in the exposure draft will support the resource management
reform objectives. The select committee is currently seeking public feedback as
part of that process, with submissions closing on 4 August. The select
committee’s report to Parliament is due in October. Changes will be made before
the whole Bill is formally introduced to Parliament in the first quarter of
2022, followed by the usual select committee process.
make a submission on the exposure draft and would like to provide members with
the opportunity to complete a short survey so we can capture your views in our
submission. Please complete this survey by 11 p.m., Sunday, 18 July.
can be accessed here.
Parliamentary paper and the exposure draft of the Bill can be accessed here.
resulting Natural and Built Environments Act will be one of three Acts to
replace the Resource Management Act 1991 (the RMA), the others being the
Strategic Planning Act and the Climate Change Adaptation Act.
government is looking to pass the Bill by the end of 2022 and the other two
pieces of legislation in 2023.
The Bill’s purpose and focus
exposure draft covers land-use and environmental regulation and includes draft
- the Bill’s purpose and related
provisions (Part 2)
- a national planning framework
- natural and built environments
plans (Part 4).
A national planning framework
proposes that a national planning framework would have the effect of
regulations, i.e. the government will be able to prepare, update or review the
framework without going through the Parliamentary process as is the case when passing
a Bill or amending an Act. One of the criticisms of the RMA has been that it
has been too slow to react to new challenges like the housing crisis
adequately. The national planning framework will serve as a key mechanism for
the government to directly influence how well environmental outcomes – like
housing supply and infrastructure – will be achieved.
exposure draft also puts forward a list of indicative principles under Part 2,
such as taking a precautionary approach and having particular regard to
cumulative effects; one of the criticisms of the RMA has been its inability to
account for cumulative effects adequately.
Natural and built environments plans
proposal in the exposure draft is planning committees in each region to prepare
natural and built environments plans. The proposal follows the Resource
Management Review Panel’s proposal to develop one natural and built
environments plan per region. The government has indicated it is still
considering the best approach to plan preparation and decision-making. It will
look to the feedback received from the select committee inquiry. Natural and
built environments plans will consolidate over 100 RMA policy statements and
regional and district plans into about 14 plans, which the government considers
vital to simplifying and improving the integration of the system.
contact me at email@example.com or 021 272 7879 to discuss further.
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