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New Interdepartmental Executive Board To Implement Government’s New Role In Spatial Planning

The Government is repealing the Resource Management Act (1991) and enacting new Acts to transform the way we manage the environment. One of these, the Spatial Planning Act, will provide a more strategic and coordinated approach to long-term regional planning. It will require spatial planning at the regional level through the development of regional spatial strategies.

To support the implementation of the Spatial Planning Act the Government has repurposed the Strategic Planning Reform Board. The repurposed Board (called the Spatial Planning Board) will be responsible for central government’s input into regional spatial planning, and for supporting the central government members of regional planning committees. The Board will consist of Chief Executives from central government agencies.

The Chief Executive of the Ministry for the Environment and Chair of the current Strategic Planning Reform Board, James Palmer, said the board will fulfil a critical oversight, coordination, support and monitoring function.

“By arranging ourselves in this way, central government will be well set up to enable efficient integration of a range of agencies who have a role to play in ensuring we have well-functioning communities, adequate housing and infrastructure, while ensuring a healthy, sustainable environment.”

Provision has been set aside in Budget 22 to support the Board.

Background information

The Spatial Planning Act will work in tandem with the Natural and Built Environment Act to set up a framework for using, developing, and protecting the environment.

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The Spatial Planning Act will provide a more strategic and coordinated approach to long-term regional planning. It will require spatial planning at the regional level through the development of 15 regional spatial strategies. These strategies, which will set out a vision, and the big issues and opportunities each region will face over the next 30 years, will be developed by regional planning committees.

A key role for the board will be to coordinate a number of central government agencies who will continue to play a role in each region, including environment, conservation, economic development, housing, transport, other infrastructure, health, education, coastal marine, climate change, Māori Crown relations, Māori development and local government.

The Spatial Planning Bill and Natural and Built Environment Bill were introduced to Parliament in November and have been referred to the Environment Select Committee.

The Spatial Planning Board will have the following functions:

  • Coordinating central government’s strategic priorities.
  • Supporting the central government members of regional planning committees throughout the regional spatial strategy development process.
  • Supporting the development of implementation plans which identify the key steps to achieve the outcomes in the regional spatial strategy.
  • Supporting the Treasury with its budget coordination and prioritisation function, to ensure central government investment flowing from regional spatial strategies is sequenced and prioritised appropriately.
  • Coordinating, overseeing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting on the effectiveness of the Spatial Planning Act.

Supporting the transition and ongoing implementation of the Spatial Planning Act.

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