The three proposed new pieces of legislation to replace the RMA are as follows.
Natural and Built Environments Act
The proposed Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA) is intended to be the primary piece of legislation to replace the RMA. Like the RMA, the National and Built Environments Act will be an integrated statute for land use and environmental protection. It will work in tandem with the proposed Strategic Planning Act (SPA).
The Act sets out how the environment will be protected and enhanced in the future system, ensuring people and communities use the environment in a way that not only supports their well-being but that of future generations.
This would be achieved by:
- promoting positive outcomes for both the natural and built environments
- ensuring that use, development and protection of resources only occur within prescribed environmental limits
The NBA will also improve recognition of te ao Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This includes reference to Te Oranga o te Taiao in the Act’s purpose. This concept is intended to encapsulate the intergenerational importance of the health and well-being of the natural environment. Decision-makers would be required ‘to give effect to’ the principles of Te Tiriti, replacing the current RMA requirement to ‘take into account’ those principles.
Under the Act, central government’s proposed new National Planning Framework will provide a set of mandatory national policies and standards on specified aspects of the new system. These will include natural environmental limits, outcomes and targets.
Read the exposure draft of the NBA.
Strategic Planning Act
The Strategic Planning Act provides a strategic and long-term approach to how we plan for using land and the coastal marine area.
Long-term spatial strategies in each region will be developed to identify areas that:
- will be suitable for development
- need to be protected or improved
- will need new infrastructure and other social needs such as hospitals and schools
- are vulnerable to climate change effects and natural hazards such as earthquakes.
The regional strategies will enable more efficient land and development markets to improve housing supply, affordability and choice, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The Government has established a new interdepartmental executive board, the Strategic Planning Reform Board, to oversee the development of the Act. This is as part of the wider resource management reforms.
It will be only the second interdepartmental Executive Board established under the Public Service Act 2020.
Read more about the Strategic planning board.
Climate Adaptation Act
This Act will support New Zealand’s response to the effects of climate change. It will address the complex legal and technical issues associated with managed retreat and funding and financing adaptation.