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 Environments 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.

Model project

To make implementation easier, we will work with several councils to develop the first full Regional Spatial Strategies and Natural and Built Environments Act plans which will serve as a model for subsequent strategies and plans.

We will apply the lessons learned to the wider roll out of the system. They will provide practical templates for other regions to use, reducing unnecessary cost and variations between plans. 

We hope to identify the first regions we will work with on the model Regional Spatial Strategies and Natural and Built Environments Act plans by the third quarter of 2022. We will work with up to three regions on the development of their first regional spatial strategies and NBA plans.

The goal of the model project is to support the early implementation of the future system, test and resolve issues and provide those early learnings for other regions across the country that will follow. Each model project will involve a strong working relationship between hapū/iwi/Māori and local government.

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.