Environmental / Resource Management

Two-month extensions for Annual Reporting and Audit Time Frames

Created: Monday, 12 July 2021 11:23

The Annual Reporting and Audit Time Frames Extensions Legislation Bill (the Bill) has been passed by the House and will come into force when it receives royal assent. The Bill amends the Crown Entities Act 2004 (CEA) and the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA02) by extending, for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years, the time frames provided in relation to audits of Crown entities, with end-of-year balance dates of 30 June, and the annual reporting requirements of local authorities and council-controlled organisations.

 Crown entities

Crown entities, under the CEA, must provide their audit reports to the Auditor-General within 3 months after the end of the financial year. This deadline is extended by the Bill for Crown entities (and organisations subject to provisions of the CEA), with end-of-year balance dates of 30 June. For the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years their audit reports must be provided to the Auditor-General by the close of 31 December.

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First exposure draft of the replacement to the Resource Management Act released

Created: Friday, 02 July 2021 12:43

The Government has released its long awaited first exposure draft of the Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA), the proposed replacement to the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) as part of its wider reforms touted as a ‘once-in-a-generation’ opportunity.

This release follows the Government’s February 2021 announcement to reform New Zealand’s resource management system by repealing the RMA and replacing it, in addition to the NBA, with:

  • Strategic Planning Act (SPA) to integrate with other legislation relevant to development, and require long-term regional spatial strategies; and
  • Climate Change Adaptation Act (CAA) to address complex legal and technical issues associated with managed retreat and funding and financing adaptation.

This article outlines the exposure draft of the NBA and the process to follow.

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High Court gives Proposed East-West Link the Green Light

Created: Wednesday, 17 March 2021 11:26

Royal Forest and Bird Protection of New Zealand Inc v New Zealand Transport Agency [2021] NZHC 390

In February 2017, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) formally notified its proposal to construct, operate and maintain a new four-lane arterial road to connect State Highway 20 in Onehunga with State Highway 1 in Penrose / Mt Wellington -  commonly referred to as the proposed East-West Link (EWL). The land subject to the EWL is ecologically significant, particularly as a habitat for sea birds, and the activity, as a whole, was considered to be non-complying.

A Board appointed by the Ministers for the Environment approved the resource consent applications and Notices of Requirement, but the  decision was appealed by the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand (RFB) and Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei Whai Maia Limited (Ngāti Whātua) with the support of Te Kawerau Iwi Tribal Authority, (collectively referred to as the Appellants).

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The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill

Created: Tuesday, 09 March 2021 08:36

The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill (the Bill) amends the Local Electoral Act 2001 (the LEA) and brings significant changes for the establishment of Māori wards and constituencies.

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Territorial Authorities put on notice about the need for proper management of Wastewater Treatment Plants

Created: Thursday, 11 February 2021 16:10

In Otago Regional Council v Clutha District Council [2020] NZDC 26125 Judge Dwyer has fined the Clutha District Council (Council) $488,250 for "egregious" failures in managing its wastewater treatment plants. The decision serves as a warning to territorial authorities to be proactive in the management of their wastewater systems, even when contractors have been engaged carry out their operation and management.

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