Recent items

Freshwater Reform - Where are we going and how will we get there?

Introduction Two major national direction documents intended to lay the foundation for restoration of our waterways have been released by the Government. The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (NPS-FM) and the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for...

Resource Management Review Panel Report

Introduction The Resource Management Review Panel (Panel) chaired by Mr Tony Randerson Q.C. has released its report on resource management reform. It recommends significant and wide ranging changes to our current resource management law and processes. Before releasing its report the Panel...

New National Policy Statement paves the way for more affordable housing

Introduction The newest tranche of RMA national direction seeks to ensure that sufficient land is freed up for urban development when required. It enables urban growth (both up and out) and provides for well-functioning, liveable cities that meet the housing demand of our growing communities. The...

New Infrastructure Funding Legislation Intended to Accelerate Housing

Introduction The Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill (the Bill) is expected to be passed shortly, with the Select Committee report on the Bill having been recently released. Significant infrastructure investment is needed to address housing issues and keep up with development demand in high...

RMA amended to allow consideration of climate change mitigation

The Resource Management Amendment Act 2020 (RMAA) was given royal assent on 30 June 2020. One of the biggest changes is that the RMAA aligns the RMA and the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019 (Zero Carbon Act) by requiring RMA decision-makers to consider climate change...

Urban Development Bill Gives Significant Powers to Kãinga Ora

Introduction  The Urban Development Bill was introduced as part of a number of initiatives undertaken by the Government to remove what it saw as impediments to progress urban development within New Zealand. One of those initiatives was the enactment of the Kãinga Ora – Homes and...

Freshwater Reforms to Cause Splash for the Forestry Sector

Introduction The Government’s recently announced freshwater package introduces national direction for sediment management, which potentially has significant implications for the plantation forestry sector. On 28 May 2020 the Government released its decisions on the national direction for...

Freshwater Change - What will it take?

Introduction Access to clean freshwater is critical for the existence and advancement of our people in all our communities throughout New Zealand. Better looking after one of our key water resources is not new. It is an old and long, but uncompleted story. The use and availability of clean...

Planned Retreat from Areas with Unacceptable Risk of Natural Hazards

Introduction Severe natural hazard events and likely climate change impacts have led to ‘planned retreat’, as a risk reduction approach, becoming increasingly more important and topical in New Zealand. A recent decision of independent commissioners (the Commissioners) regarding two...

Biodiversity Conservation - National Issue Needs a National Solution

Introduction The Government’s budget response to Covid-19 will deliver a range of positive outcomes. One area of increased investment is biodiversity conservation and re-organisation of employment into green initiatives. This is generally seen as helpful but is the Government doing enough...

Freshwater Report 2020 - What Does it Mean for NZ?

Introduction  The Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ have released their latest environmental report ‘Our Freshwater 2020’. These reports are completed annually and set out the areas of concern and provide evidence on why these areas of concern exist, and a basis for...

COVID-19 Recovery Bill - Fast-Track Consenting Pathway for Large Projects

Introduction  The Environment Minister ('Minister') has announced a law change that will fast-track consenting for large development and infrastructure projects under the Resource Management Act 1991 ('RMA'). The COVID-19 Recovery (Fast Track Consenting) Bill ('Bill') will provide an...

Completeness of Consent Applications & Adequacy of Information

Introduction A recent High Court case regarding a notification decision by the Wellington City Council once again shows that attempting to overturn such decisions through judicial review is an uphill battle. The case of Aspros v Wellington City Council [2019] NZHC 1684 (Aspros) involved...

COVID-19 Agent for RMA Change

Introduction “What Difference a Day Makes” is a vintage 1950s song. It has many modern remakes. The song is about the positive difference the passing of a day can make. So just imagine what a positive difference a COVID - 19 lockdown for a month, and more, could make to our RMA...

RMA Stage One Reforms - Select Committee Recommends Significant Change

Introduction The Environmental Select Committee has now released its report on Stage One of the Resource Management Act Amendment Bill (the Bill). The intention behind the Bill was to reduce complexity, increase certainty, restore public participation opportunities, and improve RMA processes and...

Opportunities Provided by Committed Pipeline & Fast-Tracked Consenting for Infrastructure Projects

Introduction The work the Government is currently undertaking to identify a pipeline of infrastructure projects that are ready for construction and can be deployed as part of a stimulatory package is welcome news for infrastructure industry participants, developers, investors and critically, our...

Christchurch City Council's Review of Home-Share Accommodation - Public Feedback Sought

The Christchurch City Council (the Council) is calling for feedback from the public on possible options for Christchurch District Plan (the Plan) changes in relation to home-share accommodation (e.g. Airbnb, Bookabach). The Council’s review is in response to the rapid increase in home-share...