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Positive planning no handbrake on development

Positive planning no handbrake on development

Planners in New Zealand are doing an efficient job of processing resource consents according to the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI).

NZPI Chair Bryce Julyan says the most recent statistics collected by the Ministry for the Environment debunk the myth that planners are a handbrake on development.

“Planners can only operate within the prescribed legislative framework and the stats tell us we are doing a very good job within those constraints,” Mr Julyan says.

MfE statistics* show that just over 34,000 resource consents were processed through to a decision in the 2012/13 period. Of those only 0.27% were declined. Only 5% of the consents were notified in some way and 97% of total consent applications were processed on time. Only a tiny 0.07% of resource consent decisions were appealed.

“These statistics tell us that local authority planners are undertaking the processing and assessment of resource consent applications with both rigour and efficiency. People are generally getting decisions within the statutory timeframes and, moreover, almost all applicants have had their consents approved, which suggests the information requirements are largely being met.”

Mr Julyan says even if council planners were processing resource consents at a faster rate of knots, it would not necessarily speed up development because other factors influence the decisions by individual owners or developers to proceed, usually related to the cost of construction versus the return.

He says the role of planners is not to slow development down or speed it up. It is to work effectively and efficiently within the RMA process to deliver good outcomes to our communities - environmentally, socially, culturally and economically.


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