The New Zealand Government has taken an important step in implementing the new resource management system by publishing a draft National Planning Framework (NPF) document under the new legislation, Environment Minister David said. Parker.
The NPM consolidates the existing national direction, bringing together around 20 existing instruments, including political declarations, standards and other regulations. Most importantly, it includes a new chapter on infrastructure. This important work has been led by the Infrastructure Commission. It includes the creation of standards for activities such as sediment control and allows a greater number of authorized activities, which translates into fewer costly authorizations.
“Preparing the National Management Plan has been a huge job. I thank everyone who participated in its preparation, including the Infrastructure Commission,” said Minister Parker.
This first, or transitional, NPM will focus especially on supporting the development of new regional territorial planning strategies.
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The local government is the main implementer of the MNP. There are also obligations arising from Treaty agreements, agreed by successive Governments, which must be carried over from the Resource Management Act. As a result, I have published a draft National Planning Plan for initial engagement with local governments and Māori groups.
The draft NPM will form the basis of a public consultation in early 2024, led by an independent commission of inquiry chaired by Laurie Newhook, a former judge of the Supreme Court of the Environment.
“An incoming government would not be obliged to continue the board of inquiry process if it repealed the Built and Natural Environment Act and returned to the RMA, which National criticized for many years,” the minister explained.
This first NPM will focus especially on supporting the development of new regional territorial planning strategies
David Parker said the Government is also meeting another requirement of the new legislation by initiating the creation of a Fresh Water Working Group to produce a report on water allocation issues. This is in response to the Crown’s obligation to deal with water allocation, and is consistent with commitments made to the Supreme Court a decade ago, before the current Government took office.
The law requires the task force to submit a report by October 31, 2024, a tight deadline, so work must get underway.
“Once again, an incoming government could reverse this work by changing the law,” David Parker said.