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Resource Consent Processing improves

29 June 2003 Media Statement

Resource Consent Processing improves


Local authority processing of resource consents is improving, according to the Ministry for the Environment’s Resource Management Act Two-Yearly Survey of Local Authorities 2001-02.

The number of publicly notified resource consents processed within the statutory time limits rose from 63% in 1999/2000, to 69% in 2001/02. Councils using good practices for efficient resource consent processing and applicant satisfaction also increased.

These practices include providing applicants with an estimate (based on past experience) of the cost of applying for a resource consent, formally receiving resource consent applications within one working day of being lodged and not resetting the statutory time clock to zero when further information is sought from applicants.

There was a 12 per cent increase in the number of territorial authorities undertaking State of the Environment reporting and a seven per cent increase in monitoring the effectiveness of their plans and policies.

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs said the survey shows that practice under the RMA continues to improve.

"Councils are taking positive steps in improving practice and, with assistance from the Ministry for the Environment, I expect this trend to continue," Marian Hobbs said.

"There are still key process areas that need more work and I look forward to the next survey's results.”

The survey questioned all 86 local authorities about six aspects of resource consent processing:
- Numbers and types of resource consents processed;
- The charges to applicants for resource consent applications;
- The time taken to process resource consents;
- Maori participation in RMA processes;
- Monitoring, compliance and enforcement.

The results of the survey are used to highlight and monitor the use of best practice by local authorities.

This year the Ministry for the Environment will assist councils further through training and a range of environmental standards and policy statements. Such standards will give guidance on national issues and help provide certainty.

The RMA Survey is available on:
http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/annual-survey/index.html.

ENDS


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