Legal Alert RMA Act

With the submission period for the Fast-track Approvals Bill only just having closed, and fresh from announcing the Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years (joining aquaculture), the Government has now provided its intentions for its anticipated May 2024 round of RMA reforms - Urgent changes to system through first RMA Amendment Bill.  As signalled the reforms will focus on matters relevant to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM), the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NES-F) and the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS-IB). 

Specifically the Bill will:

  • Make it clear that, while the NPS-FM is being reviewed and replaced, resource consent applicants no longer need to demonstrate their proposed activities follow the Te Mana o te Wai hierarchy of obligations, as set out in the NPS-FM
  • Amend stock exclusion regulations in relation to sloped land
  • Repeal intensive winter grazing regulations
  • Align the consenting pathway for coal mining with the pathway for other mining activities in the NPS-IB, NPS-FM, and the NES-F
  • Suspend the NPS-IB requirement for councils to identify new Significant Natural Areas for three years.

These changes reflect the coalition agreements, party policies and the Government's focus on reducing regulation on the primary sector to improve the primary sector's profitability and boost export earnings. 

If you have any questions regarding this upcoming Bill please get in touch with a member of our team.