Environmental / Resource Management

Resource Legislation Amendment Bill Passes Third Reading

Created: Monday, 10 April 2017 16:24

Almost 18 months after its introduction to the House, the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill has passed its third reading.  The wide-reaching Act amends the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), the Reserves Act 1977, the Public Works Act 1981, the Conservation Act 1987, the Environmental Protection Authority Act 2011 and the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012.

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NPS on Urban Development Signed Off

Created: Friday, 04 November 2016 16:38

A few months ago we looked at Minister Nick Smith's 2 June announcement that the proposed National Policy Statement (NPS) on Urban Development Capacity was available for public consultation.

On 31 October 2016, the Minister announced that the Government had signed off on that NPS, and that it would take effect from 1 December. 

The councils experiencing the highest growth will be most affected.  That means Auckland, Christchurch, Tauranga and Hamilton are in the frontline.  Fast-growing cities like Nelson and Queenstown are also affected. 

 

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New Swimming Pool Fencing Law Passed By Parliament

Created: Wednesday, 02 November 2016 14:40

Parliament has passed the Building (Pools) Amendment Bill, which the government claims will strengthen pool safety compliance and reduce the accidental drowning of children

Splashing around in a swimming pool during the summer is a joy for many kiwi children, but the safety risks of having young children around swimming pools, particularly when unsupervised, are undeniable.  In 1987, in a bid to reduce the number of accidental drownings of children, Parliament passed the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act, which required all swimming pools to be fenced.  The introduction of this requirement has significantly reduced the number of accidental drownings, but in recent years the government has expressed concern that the requirements have not been enforced consistently across New Zealand, and that the enforcement tools available to local authorities for non-compliance were deficient.

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RMA "Subdivision", GMOs and Road Stopping Notice / Consultation - A Spring Round Up of Decisions You Should Know About

Created: Tuesday, 01 November 2016 13:17

We shine the spotlight briefly on three recent decisions of the Environment and High Courts concerning:

  1. Whether certain property arrangements for leased land fell within the RMA definition of "subdivision" (Re Spark New Zealand Trading Ltd [2016] NZEnvC 115);
  2. Whether the RMA enables regional councils to provide for GMOs in regional policy statements and plans (Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc v Northland Regional Council CIV 2015-488-64); and
  3. What is considered to be adequate public notice and consultation on road stopping proposals under Schedule 10 of LGA'74 (Morgan v Waikato District Council [2016] NZEnvC 177).

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The Unitary Plan and related reports

Created: Tuesday, 30 August 2016 02:46

Auckland Council released its Decisions on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan on Friday 19 August 2016.  This Plan heralds a new era of planning for the region and its provisions will be of interest to many.  The Plan and related reports  may be viewed here. 

Resource Management Act changes – New approaches to plan-making

Created: Thursday, 28 July 2016 14:10

First published in Inside Tourism, August 2016

Public hearings of submissions on the Government's "Resource Legislation Amendment Bill" (Bill) have now finished, with a select committee report to Parliament due in September 2016.

The Explanatory Note describes the Bill as comprising "over 40 proposals aimed at delivering substantive, system-wide improvements to the resource management system".

This brief update focuses on two important changes proposed in the Bill to the way we make resource management plans in New Zealand – that is, the district plans, regional plans and regional policy statements that govern how we can use and develop land and other natural and physical resources. The two initiatives are:

  • A "national planning template" (NPT).
  • Two new alternative plan-making processes for councils.

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