Environmental / Resource Management

Winter is coming

Created: Wednesday, 07 May 2014 04:32

Winter is coming and change is a-foot: legislation updates

With the introduction of the Statutes Amendment Bill (No.4) (Bill) the Government has responded to a need to modernise, clarify and correct a suite of statues of direct relevance to local government. However, the Bill also includes a number of substantive amendments which, if retained, will have an effect on the procedures and processes of local authorities. These are summarised below.

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New Reg's Test Council Performance

Created: Friday, 11 April 2014 04:39


Local Government (Financial Reporting and Prudence) Regulations 2014

The financial performance of the local government sector is under closer scrutiny with the advent of the Local Government (Financial Reporting and Prudence) Regulations 2014 (Regulations). They arose from amendments made to the Local Government Act 2002 as part of Government's Better Local Government Policy.

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Court of Appeal claim alleging misstatement in Council LIM out of time

Created: Saturday, 05 April 2014 02:47

In a recent Court of Appeal decision, Westland District Council ("Council") v York and anor [2014] NZCA 59, a claim against the Council for a negligent misstatement was struck out as time barred under the Limitation Act 1960. This means that potential litigants cannot claim a negligent LIM caused them loss more than 6 years after they allegedly relied on the LIM.

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The Solicitor-General's Prosecution Guidelines 2013 do not apply to Local Authorities

Created: Saturday, 08 March 2014 02:59

The Solicitor-General's Prosecution Guidelines (the Guidelines) were updated on 1 July 2013 to bring them in line with the new requirements and procedures introduced by the Criminal Procedure Act 2011.

Compliance with these Guidelines is expected in respect of public prosecutions and Crown prosecutions, which are those initiated by the Crown or government departments. Government departments also adopt prosecution policies in line with the Guidelines, which set out the approach that they will take to making the decision to initiate criminal proceedings and their conduct.

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A More Consistent Approach to Environmental Reporting

Created: Wednesday, 05 March 2014 03:02

On behalf of the Government, the Minister for the Environment, Amy Adams, has introduced the Environmental Reporting Bill 2014 ("the Bill").

The aim is to:

"... create a national level environmental reporting system to ensure that reporting on our environment occurs on a regular basis and can be trusted by the public as independent, fair and accurate."

However, as the Commentary to the Bill makes clear, this is about making better use of the information already available, rather than extending the scope of information currently collected. There is reliance on existing agencies to do the work.

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Shakin’ up not breakin’ down – the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill 2013

Created: Wednesday, 29 January 2014 03:15

The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill 2013 (the Bill) amends the Building Act 2004 (the Act) in an effort to improve the system for managing earthquake-prone buildings. The recent earthquake in Wellington has again brought to the fore the importance of protecting against earthquake damage and dangers in building construction and design.

The new system aims to strike a balance between protection of people and buildings, and managing the costs of strengthening and removing buildings. The Bill introduces a new subpart 6A that sets out new definitions, building assessment procedures and local government powers. A greater leadership role is given to central government to make better use of the specific strengths and resources of central and local government.

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