Rm Reforms (1)

The Government has today introduced the Natural and Built Environment Bill and the Spatial Planning Bill to Parliament. 

This legislation is proposed to form the basis of a new resource management system for New Zealand, replacing the Resource Management Act 1991.  The Climate Change Adaptation Bill, due to be introduced in 2023, will form the third and final element of the new legislative regime.

Today's introduction of the two bills follows the release of an 'exposure draft' of the Natural and Built Environments Bill in 2021, and a subsequent select committee hearing and reporting process.  The key elements of the exposure draft, and the select committee process, are set out in our previous articles:

The full Natural and Built Environment Bill adds significant detail to last year's exposure draft.  Core elements of the Bill include:

  • A new purpose which is said to be an intergenerational environmental test for all New Zealanders
  • The introduction of outcomes
  • Implementation of a new national planning framework
  • A framework for natural and built environments plans
  • Improved recognition of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Meanwhile, the Spatial Planning Bill provides for mandatory spatial planning through 'Regional Spatial Strategies', intended to provide long-term, high level, strategic direction for integrated planning.

The two bills can be viewed here:

The select committee and submission process for the bills is yet to be confirmed.  We will provide a further update on next steps once the process has been clarified.

Our national environment and resource management team has been closely following the development of the new legislation, and its likely implications.  Please contact a member of our team if you would like to discuss the potential implications of the bills.