Wetland with a housing behind it

New Local Government Steering Group to advise Government on RMA reform

The Ministry for the Environment has announced a new Local Government Steering Group to advise the Government on the resource management system reforms.   

The national steering group includes 12 local government elected members and senior council executives. It will be co-chaired by Hauraki Mayor, Toby Adams, and Ministry for the Environment Deputy Secretary, Janine Smith.  

Secretary for the Environment and Ministry for the Environment Chief Executive Vicky Robertson says the establishment of the steering group reflects the Government’s desire to build on our relationship with local government and form a partnership with around the reform of the resource management system.    

“The journey from legislative design to establishment of the new system, and transitioning to it, will take several years and our working relationship with local government will be crucial to success,” says Vicky Robertson.  

“We’re thrilled to have a good mix of local government leaders from across New Zealand on our new steering group, bringing a wealth of experience and perspectives to provide input on all aspects of the reform programme.” 

“Ensuring the existing resource management system can transition to the new system smoothly is a priority so, while the initial focus of the group will be testing policy, they will also help develop plans for implementation and transition to the new system.” 

Steering group co-chair Toby Adams says the steering group will play a critical role in helping to ensure the new system works well.   

“As key partners in the delivery of the current and future resource management system, local government is essential to help design the proposed system. We look forward to working together with the Ministry to ensure we can achieve the outcomes we all desire.” 

The steering group will also provide advice on the Ministry’s broader engagement with local government. 

“We will need to work with all councils to implement the new system and we will also continue to engage with technical experts from local government to test policy, as they have crucial expertise relevant to the reform,” says Vicky Robertson.  

“While the select committee processes remain the main way for the public and stakeholders to engage with the reforms, our engagement with key stakeholders, including local government, is important to ensuring a workable, enduring new system.”  

The new Local Government Steering Group includes: 

  • Toby Adams –  Mayor of Hauraki  
  • Rachel Reese – Mayor of Nelson  
  • Sam Broughton – Mayor of Selwyn  
  • Bill Cashmore – Deputy Mayor of Auckland 
  • Arama Ngapo – Councillor, South Waikato  
  • Shaun Clarke – Chief Executive, Far North District Council 
  • Aileen Lawrie – Chief Executive, Opotiki District Council 
  • James Palmer – Chief Executive, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council 
  • Stefanie Rixecker – Chief Executive, Environment Canterbury 
  • Mike Theelen – Chief Executive, Queenstown Lakes District Council 
  • Megan Tyler – Chief of Strategy, Auckland Council 
  • Wendy Walker – Chief Executive, Porirua City Council 

Notes to editors

  • The Local Government Steering Group will typically meet monthly.
  • The Ministry for the Environment worked with Local Government New Zealand and Taituarā to ensure the steering group’s members are reflective of the range of New Zealand’s councils including territorial, regional, unitary, metro, provincial and rural. The appointments were approved by the Secretary for the Environment. 
  • The steering group’s terms of reference and bios can be found on the Ministry for the Environment’s website here.