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Yesterday the proposed COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Bill was introduced to Parliament and referred to the Environment Committee.  Submissions on the Bill will close on Sunday 21 June 2020.  You can read the Bill here.

The Bill is intended to urgently promote employment growth to support New Zealand's recovery from COVID-19 by establishing new fast-track resource consenting and designation processes for two categories of projects:

  • Listed projects: Schedule 2 of the Bill lists 16 projects
  • Referred projects: Any person with a project can apply to the Minister for the Environment to use the fast-track process.  The Minister will assess the public benefit of these projects having regard to whether it will: generate employment; increase housing supply; contribute to well-functioning urban environments; provide infrastructure; improve environmental outcomes; minimise waste; promote historic heritage protection; strengthen resilience to natural hazard risks; and/or mitigate for climate change and transition to a low-emissions economy.

The Bill also enables the New Zealand Transport Agency and KiwiRail Holdings Limited to carry out specified works on existing infrastructure without the need for resource consent.  Additional specified agencies may be authorised to carry out such works by an Order in Council at a later date.

Please give one of our team a call if you want to discuss the implications of the proposed Bill.