23 September 2022

What I will be looking for in resource management reform

On 23 September, the Commissioner gave the keynote address to the Resource Management Law Association annual conference 'Rethinking Resources' in Rotorua.

The Commissioner commented on what he will be looking out for in the legislation replacing the Resource Management Act 1991.

He also proposed a hierarchy for the different elements of the new system (the National Planning Framework, the Regional Spatial Strategy and the Regional Natural and Built Environment plan) and suggested how these could be sequenced.

The Commissioner said: "If anything is to be learnt from our experience of the Resource Management Act, it is that placing aspirational words on the face of a statute is no guarantee of their ambition being realised".

"This legislation cuts across every property right in New Zealand. It cuts across a huge debate about the place of the treaty in relation to natural resources. Peel away the aspirational language and its subject matter is inherently contested. That is why the processes it establishes and the mandate they can command will be so important." 

Read the Commissioner's address: What I will be looking for in resource management reform ​(PDF 222KB).

Photo: Henrico Prins, Flikr