Transitioning to our future resource management system

Budget 2022 has provided $179 million to be used over the next four years for the transition to a new resource management system and its implementation.


This is key to:

  • creating a resource management system that is workable
  • ensuring that the transition to the future resource management system goes as smoothly as possible.

Transition pathways

We are developing transition pathways to:

  • develop a timetable for implementation of the Natural and Built Environment Act (NBA) and Spatial Planning Act – a staged approach will enable us to achieve the objectives of reform as quickly as possible, while ensuring local government and others have the right support at the right times
  • clarify the detail of the provisions that need to be in legislation and its related instruments such as the National Planning Framework.

First tranche regions

To get implementation underway promptly, we will support up to three 'first tranche' regions to:

  • establish their regional planning committees
  • and then develop their first regional spatial strategies and natural and built environment plans.

We are looking for regions that collectively have a range of resource management settings and challenges to test the new system.

This will provide insights and learnings for regions that follow. We intend to provide funding, technical support and guidance to the regional planning committees in first tranche regions.

We are talking to several regions to gauge their interest in undertaking a scoping exercise in April-June 2023. The scoping exercise will help us to better understand what is required to get work in the new system underway and what support is needed from central government.

Taking part in the scoping exercise doesn’t commit (or confirm) a region to being in the first tranche. However, a prerequisite for being in the first tranche will be agreement among councils, iwi/hapū/Māori and post-settlement governance entities to proceed as a first tranche region. Scoping may help parties understand and agree on the opportunity.

The next phase after scoping would be working towards confirming the first tranche regions.

Capacity and capability

Industry professionals, hapū, iwi and Māori entities and local government must have the capacity and capability to participate fully in the new system.    

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research is currently undertaking a stocktake of resource management workforce skills and capability to identify gaps and future needs.

The findings of this stocktake will be used for decisions on capability development. A culture, capacity and capability work programme will identify new skills, thinking and capabilities required in the new system.

Digital enablement

The new resource management system will mean more collaborative planning across a region. This will require data from multiple agencies and groups to be easily moved between systems.

A digital enablement project is looking at how digital technologies can achieve this, and more generally how to make it easier for the public and the RM sector to access information and perform transactions.

A stocktake of resource management systems across local government has been completed, along with exploratory work to identify opportunities for digital enablement. The next step is to work with local government and with hapū/iwi/Māori to establish priorities and how we will work together to achieve them.