On Tuesday 29 June 2021 the Government released the exposure draft of the Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA). The NBA will be the main replacement for the Resource Management Act once enacted and is central to the reform of the resource management system.

The exposure draft of the NBA contains the main elements of the Bill to test with the public. These include:

  • preliminary provisions (definitions)
  • purpose and related provisions
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi clause
  • environmental limits
  • environmental outcomes
  • National Planning Framework (NPF): key clauses, but not the process to develop the NPF
  • Natural and Built Environments Plans (NBA plans): key clauses, but not all.

A copy of the exposure draft is available here.

An accompanying parliamentary paper on the exposure draft is available here. This sets out the policy intent behind the changes proposed in the Bill and details of the wider context of the reform programme.

Taituarā is still in the process of reviewing the contents of the exposure draft and parliamentary paper. However, it does appear that much of the exposure draft closely mirrors the recommendations set out in the Resource Management Review Panel’s report. It also appears that there are still a significant number of policy decisions to be made, for example in respect of the contents of NBA plans, the makeup of the regional planning committees that will prepare NBA plans and how these planning committees will be resourced.

For the reform of the resource management programme to be successful, it will be critical for the Government to work closely with local government on design of the legislation (and the new National Planning Framework) and on transition and implementation arrangements.

Webinar on the exposure draft of the NBA

All councils are invited to join us for a webinar on Friday 9 July 2021 at 11am that will be presented by the team from Simpson Grierson.

The purpose of this webinar is to provide an overview of the provisions of the exposure draft and what they mean for local government as well as to provide an opportunity to ask questions. The webinar will help your council to prepare its submission on the exposure draft.

Please click here for further information and to register.

Select committee inquiry

The exposure draft is now being considered by a special select committee inquiry. Feedback on the exposure draft will help to shape the full Bill.

The timeframe for making submissions is considerably shorter than usual, with submissions due on Wednesday 4 August 2021. Click here for further information on submitting.

Taituarā will be working with its Resource Management Reform Reference Group (RMRG) and others in the sector to prepare a submission on the exposure draft. There will be an opportunity for members to provide feedback on our submission and we will make sure that councils have a copy of our draft submission well ahead of the deadline for submitting, to help you with preparing your own submission. We’ll update you on when our draft submission will be made available soon.