New interdepartmental executive board for Spatial Planning Act

The Government has established a new interdepartmental executive board, the Spatial Planning Reform Board. It will oversee the development of the proposed Spatial Planning Act, one of three laws reforming New Zealand’s resource management system this parliamentary term. The reforms will repeal the Resource Management Act 1991.

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"The proposed Act will ensure we have better, more strategic planning for how a region will grow and change over time and how land, infrastructure and other resources will be used to promote the wellbeing of people, the environment and the economy,” says Vicky Robertson, Secretary for the Environment and Chairperson of the new board.

It has the potential to transform the ways in which New Zealanders make decisions about the environment. It will provide for long-term regional spatial strategies that integrate land use planning, environmental regulation, infrastructure provision and climate change response. These strategies connect the proposed National and Built Environments Act and other key legislation covering climate change, housing, transport and local government.

The proposed Act will play a critical role in delivering the new resource management system objectives.

The new legislation includes decision-making to achieve outcomes across a number of portfolios so we are taking advantage of a new way of collaborative working – a formal interdepartmental executive board - under the Public Service Act 2020 to optimise the quality of input and outcomes in the development of the proposed Act, says Vicky Robertson.

The membership of the new board includes chief executives for the Ministries for the Environment, Housing and Urban Development, Transport, Internal Affairs, Conservation and the Treasury.  

Vicky Robertson says the approach will provide strong collective public-sector ownership of the development of the proposed Act. Chief executives from several government departments, who are board members, are jointly responsible to the Minister for the Environment for its operation.  

Mark Vink has been appointed to the role of Executive Director to the board. He comes to the role from Treasury where he worked across a broad range of policy areas including RMA reform in 2014/15. He has most recently led the Treasury's COVID Economic Response Directorate. Mark commences the role on 24 May 2021.

Mark will be supported by Deputy Executive Director Jane White. Jane has most recently been managing Spartial Planning Act policy development.