This guidance outlines the application process network utility operators must follow when applying for requiring authority status. It also outlines their role and lists current and revoked requiring authorities.

Who can be a requiring authority under the RMA?

Requiring authorities can be:

  • a Minister of the Crown
  • a local authoritya network utility operator approved under the RMA.

Ministers of the Crown and local authoriEnvironment for approval to become a requiring authority for the purposes of a particular work or project.

Network utility operators are defined in section 166 of the RMA and distribute gas, petroleum, geothermal energy, telecommunications, electricity, water and wastewater, or construct or operate roads, railway lines and airports.

What can requiring authorities do?

Requiring authorities have significant powers.

They can:

  • apply to the local authority to designate land. (A designation is a provision in a district plan that gives notice to the community that a requiring authority intends to use land in the future for a particular work or project)
  • undertake works in an emergency and get resource consents after the work has been done
  • apply to the Minister of Land Information to use the compulsory acquisition powers in the Public Works Act 1981
  • go on to private land (after giving notice) to undertake investigations under the Public Works Act 1981.

Revocation of requiring authority status

The Minister for the Environment may revoke requiring authority status under section 167(5) of the RMA if satisfied that a requiring authority is either:

  • no longer likely to undertake or complete a project, work or network utility operation
  • unlikely to satisfactorily carry out any of its responsibilities as requiring authority
  • no longer a network utility operator.

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