Work programme for Phase II of RMA reforms
Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister for the Environment
8 May 2009 Media Statement
Work programme for Phase II of RMA reforms announced
Greater central Government direction and closer alignment with other legislation are the key objectives of the Government’s second phase of reform of the Resource Management Act, Environment Minister Nick Smith announced today.
Speaking at the annual conference of the New Zealand Planning Institute in Rotorua, Dr Smith said Phase II would build on RMA reforms introduced in February.
“The first reform phase was about addressing the excessive bureaucracy, costs and delays of the RMA while safe guarding the environment. That Bill is progressing well through Parliament to be passed into law in July.
“Further reforms are needed to improve the economic and environmental outcomes of the Act.
“Phase II is a far more complex reform process with 10 related work streams. The first four work streams involve greater central Government direction to improve management of aquaculture, infrastructure, urban design and water. There is also a major job to develop the scope, functions and structure of the proposed Environmental Protection Authority.
“A further four work streams involve better alignment of the Resource Management Act processes with those of the Building, Conservation, Forests, and Historic Places Acts. The final work stream involves a number of generic RMA processes that were too complex to include in Phase I of the reforms.
“Due to the detailed and complex nature of the second phase of the RMA reform programme, work will progress at a more modest pace. It will involve a number of advisory groups and significant opportunities for public consultation and engagement. There is also a lot of detail to work through and it will take time to get it right.
“New Zealand is richly blessed with natural resources. The Government’s resource management reforms are about ensuring we manage our resources more effectively and efficiently to deliver both economic and environmental benefits for future generations.”