Select Committee inquiry on the exposure draft of the Natural and Built Environments Bill

The proposed Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA) will be the main replacement for the Resource Management Act (RMA). It is central to the reform of the resource management system.

The Government has released an exposure draft of the NBA. This Bill was referred by Parliament to a select committee inquiry which began at the start of July and ran for three months.

What the exposure draft includes

An exposure draft of a Bill is one that is put out for stakeholder and public feedback before it is introduced to the House. The exposure draft for the NBA does not cover the full bill.

It provides an early look at key aspects of this legislation including:

  • the purpose of the NBA (including Te Tiriti o Waitangi clause) and related provisions
  • the National Planning Framework
  • the Natural and Built Environments plans.

The document is divided into three categories.

  • Part A: Explanatory material which describes the policy intent of each clause along with the wider reform context.
  • Part B: Exposure Draft of the Natural and Built Environments Bill.
  • Part C: Appendices including the terms of reference for the Select Committee Inquiry.

Read the exposure draft of the NBA and explanatory material

Read the Minister's media release on the exposure draft [Beehive website]

Read the Summary of initial impact analysis and the Interim regulatory impact statement on reforming the resource management system.

Select Committee inquiry and recommendations

In June 2021 the Government released an exposure draft outlining key aspects of the proposed Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA), the primary piece of legislation replacing the RMA.

Submissions on the exposure draft closed in August 2021. More than three thousand submissions were received, and the Environment Select Committee heard over 300 oral submissions across five weeks.

There was a large number of high quality and constructive submissions from key stakeholders in the system. This reflects not only the significance of these reforms but also an encouraging level of connection with New Zealanders at this early stage of the legislative process.

The Committee released a report with recommendations on the Natural and Built Environments Bill on 1 November 2021, based on the feedback received from the public during the select committee inquiry. The government responded to this report on 17 February 2022. 

Next steps

The Select Committee’s recommendations are being considered and will inform the development of the full Natural and Built Environments Bill, to be introduced to the House in 2022 alongside the Strategic Planning Bill. There will be a second opportunity for the public to provide feedback at that time.

We will continue to engage with Treaty partners, local government and sector stakeholders as the reforms progress