Media Release - Local Government NZ

2 Sep 2015

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has launched a review of the Resource Management system, focusing on the ‘big questions’ options and solutions needed to develop a fit-for-purpose regime.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule said that almost 25 years after the Resource Management Act (RMA) became law, it’s time for some “blue-sky thinking” about New Zealand’s resource management regime and how a new approach could best work for all of New Zealand’s communities, businesses, regional economies and our nation’s environment.”

The review is a key policy initiative for the sector and fits with LGNZ’s strategic policy priorities around leadership of important environmental and economic policy.

“This goes further than the current work the Government is progressing on RMA reform and takes a strategic look at what a fit-for-purpose resource management system would look like,” said Mr Yule.

“For some years LGNZ has been engaging with the Government and various stakeholders on policy and reform initiatives related to the many actual and suggested amendments to the RMA.  However, much of that has been ad-hoc.  This review will look at New Zealand’s resource management system from a first principles basis and scope out what a durable and successful regime might look like.”

The approach to the work follows the success of LGNZ’s Local Government Funding Review in identifying options and alternatives to complement funding tools available to councils and provide incentives to stimulate economic growth.

Mr Yule said: “The interaction and exchange of views between the local government sector and stakeholders through the Funding Review was invaluable and we will follow a similar process for the Resource Management review.”

The review will be carried out over 12 months, with a position paper to be released for discussion before Christmas 2015.  A working group has been appointed, chaired by Otago Regional Council Chair Stephen Woodhead, who is also Chair of LGNZ’s Regional Sector and its Environmental Policy Advisory Group, a committee of LGNZ’s National Council. Other members of the working group are: 

  • Environment Canterbury Commissioner David Caygill
  • Environmental Defence Chairman and Executive Director Gary Taylor
  • Federated Farmers National Board member Chris Allen
  • Iwi Advisers Group - Freshwater member Julian Williams
  • New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development CEO Stephen Selwood
  • Political commentator Colin James
  • Property Council CEO Connal Townsend
  • Russell McVeagh Partner James Gardner-Hopkins
  • Waikato Regional Councillor Tipa Mahuta
  • Waitomo District Mayor Brian Hanna