About the exposure draft for 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) once enacted. It is central to the reform of the resource management system.

The Government has released an exposure draft of the NBA. The exposure draft has been referred by Parliament to a select committee inquiry process.

What the exposure draft provides

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.

Opportunities for public feedback

There will be two opportunities for public feedback on the NBA as part of select committee processes.

First opportunity for public feedback

The first opportunity will be as part of the initial select committee inquiry into the exposure draft of the NBA. This will be an open and transparent way for the public to have an early say on this key legislation. 

The select committee inquiry is expected to take around three months to examine the draft legislation. The Environment Committee will call for the public to make submissions at the beginning of July and it is your chance to present your opinions, observations, and recommendations about the key aspects of the bill.    

The select committee inquiry will report its findings back to the House and these will inform further policy development on the reform.

Other components of the legislation that were not developed for the exposure draft will be considered by the Ministerial Oversight Group in the second half of 2021 before being included in the full bill. 

Second opportunity for public feedback

The second opportunity will be when the full NBA bill is introduced to Parliament, along with the Strategic Planning Act bill, in 2022. It is intended these bills will be enacted this parliamentary term. 

The Natural and Built Environments Act and Strategic Planning Act would work together as core parts of an improved resource management system. 

How to have your say on the exposure draft

We encourage you and your associated networks to participate in the select committee inquiry.

Once the Select Committee has begun, you can make a submission on the New Zealand Parliament website. Submissions close 4 August 2021.