Annex 2: Proposed resource management reforms

A proposed new resource management (RM) system will be delivered through 2 Acts: the Spatial Planning Act (SPA) and the Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA). The SPA and NBA will cover the onshore environment, and the territorial sea.

The system is being designed to help drive desirable outcomes, not just prevent unacceptable effects.

The SPA requires that there be a regional spatial strategy (RSS) for each region. Each RSS will set out the major changes desired in the region, including major new urban development, major shifts in regional economic development, changes in land use to deal with expected natural hazards, major shifts in how coastal space and water are used, landscape scale restoration programmes for biodiversity, landscape scale restoration of degraded land, etc.

The RSS will be developed by a committee that includes central government, local government, and iwi, hapū, and whānau representatives.

The RSS work will have to be consistent with the National Planning Framework (NPF) – a single set of national direction delivered under the NBA. That will incorporate what is currently in national policy statements such as the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, and National Environmental Standards. It can set both high-level policy direction, and detailed rules that apply to specific activities or environments.

The committee creating the RSS will also have to have particular regard to specified government policy statements, such as the Government Policy Statement on Transport. These will be listed in a schedule.

The RSS will be binding on NBA plans, but also on regional land transport plans and Local Government Act 2002 investment decisions. There will be an implementation plan to identify who will be delivering the desired outcomes, and there can also be detailed implementation agreements to ensure joined-up effort. For example, an implementation plan for improving port capacity by developing an inland port might involve the Port Company, KiwiRail, and a council.

One NBA plan per region will replace existing regional and district plans. These will be able to incorporate clear allocation processes for use of coastal space. NBA plans must be consistent with the RSS and give effect to the NPF. The plans will be prepared by the same committee that prepared the RSS (the Regional Planning Committee).

< Annex 1: Location of interest maps | Annex 3: International models for offshore renewable energy regulation >