Environmental / Resource Management

Resource Management Review - Issues and Option Paper Released for Stakeholder Comment

Created: Monday, 18 November 2019 09:28

The Resource Management Review Panel has released the paper 

Transforming the resource management system: opportunities for change – Issues and options paper

The paper is intended to start a conversation about issues to be considered and addressed by the Review. It seeks comments from stakeholders to inform the development of the panel’s proposals for reform. Comments on the paper are welcomed no later than Monday 3 February 2020.

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Ports Must Avoid Effects On Outstanding Coastal Environments

Created: Tuesday, 29 October 2019 09:57

In the recent decision Environmental Defence Society Inc v Otago Regional Council [2019] NZHC 2278 the High Court has overturned an interim decision of the Environment Court concerning provision for ports in the Proposed Otago Regional Policy Statement (PORPS). This decision further reinforces the sea change in application of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) since the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Environmental Defence Soc Inc v New Zealand King Salmon Co Ltd [2014] NZSC 38 concerning giving effect to directive avoidance policies in the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 (NZCPS).

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The Resource Management Amendment Bill

Created: Friday, 27 September 2019 07:20

The Resource Management Amendment Bill was introduced earlier this week.  The Bill includes revisiting restrictions on public notification and appeals, reinstating financial contributions and adding a new specialised process for freshwater decision-making.  You can view the full list of proposals in the Explanatory Note at the following link:

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Adequacy of Information for Notification Decisions -Discount Brands, Subsequent Legislative Amendments and Case Law

Created: Monday, 27 May 2019 09:52

The Supreme Court’s decision in Discount Brands Ltd v Westfield (New Zealand) Ltd [2005] NZSC 17 established the standard of information consent authorities require to make notification decisions under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). However, subsequent amendments to the notification provisions of the RMA removed the express statutory requirement for consent authorities to have adequate information, and replaced the rebuttable presumption of notification with a discretion to notify, casting doubt on the continued applicability of Discount Brands.

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Welcoming Back the Well-Beings

Created: Thursday, 16 May 2019 12:27

As promised by Hon Nanaia Mahuta at the beginning of her term as Minister for Local Government,  the four well-beings have been restored to the heart of the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act).

The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has now been passed reinstating the four aspects of community well-being – social, economic, environmental and cultural into the Act.  This short Bill, whilst harking back to the inception of the  Act, should not be interpreted as restoring the governance of local authorities to 2002 terms.  Much has changed in the interim, and the waves of ‘reform’ applied to the Act by successive Ministers have changed the manner of governance imposed in countless ways. 

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Relevant Plan Provisions Must Prevail in Determining Whether Adverse Effects Arise

Created: Wednesday, 03 April 2019 15:05

In the recent decision of Liu v Auckland Council [2019] NZEnvC 33 the Environment Court cautioned that personal views as to what constitutes an adverse effect must not outweigh the application of relevant planning provisions. The decision also provides helpful commentary regarding the nature of the abatement notice appeal regime under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

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