The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) has released its exposure drafts of proposed changes to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (NPS-FM) and the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Freshwater) Regulations 2020 (NES-F).
The NPS-FM and NES-F came into force on 3 September 2020, and these exposure drafts follow on from MfE's consultation on proposed amendments to the wetland provisions in late 2021.
MfE states that the proposed amendments aim to provide clarity, reduce complexity, and correct some errors, without changing the underlying policy. The proposed changes include:
- Clarifying the definition of 'natural wetland'
- Providing further direction on using 'best information' and 'transparent decision-making'
- Simplifying direction on 'special provisions for attributes affected by nutrients'
- Introducing new consent pathways for certain activities.
MfE has invited submissions on the exposure drafts, which are due by 10 July 2022.
Our national environment and resource management team has been closely involved in a number of cases relating to these aspects of the NPS-FM and NES-F. Please contact a member of our team if we can help you prepare a submission or if you would like to discuss the potential implications of these changes.