Environmental / Resource Management

Resource Management Act Reform A Moving Target

Created: Wednesday, 02 October 2013 23:57

Published in Inside Tourism Issue 949, 1 October 2013

In mid August the Government unveiled the 2013 Resource Management Act Reform Package following the completion of consultation on an earlier discussion document: Improving Our Resource Management System. The 2013 Reform Package is intended to be introduced as a Bill later in 2013.

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Council Planning Games: Section 83 RMA Serves An Ace

Created: Thursday, 29 August 2013 23:19

Protect Pauanui Incorporated v The Thames Coromandel District Council and Pauanui Sports and Recreation Club Incorporated [2013] NZHC 1944.

In response to a judicial review application lodged by Protect Pauanui Incorporated (PPI) the High Court has made a decision regarding:

  • The extent of the notification requirements for a proposed policy statement or plan under the Resource Management Act 1991 (the Act).
  • The application of section 83, which deems an operative policy statement or plan to have been prepared and approved in accordance with the Act.
  • The use of section 316 of the Act to challenge an operative plan or policy statement.
  • The extent of the scope of a submission for it to be considered to be "on" a proposed plan.

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When Do Subdivision Consents Lapse?

Created: Thursday, 08 August 2013 23:24


The Environment Court has this week released a significant decision that clarifies the uncertain issue of subdivision consents and their lapse.


The decision, Ruck & Or v Horowhenua District Council (available here), concerned an application for declarations. Both Applicants had submitted survey plans in respect of their subdivisions but then failed to deposit the approved survey plans with the Registrar-General of Lands ("LINZ"). It was the Council's position that the consents had lapsed and the Court was asked by the consent holders to make the following declarations (at [2]):

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Select Committee Reports Back On Resource Management Reform Bill

Created: Wednesday, 19 June 2013 23:25

On 11 June 2013 the Local Government and Environment Committee (Committee) reported back on the omnibus Resource Management Reform Bill (Bill). The Committee recommended, by majority, that the Bill be passed, subject to a number of amendments. The Committee's report can be read here, and our commentary on the Bill when it was first introduced can be viewed here.

The Committee recommends a number of amendments to the Bill that will affect the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and the Local Government (Auckland Transitional Provisions) Act 2010 (the Auckland Act). We summarise these recommended amendments below:

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Environment Court Practice Direction - Consultation Sought

Created: Tuesday, 07 May 2013 23:30

The mediation process through the Environment Court is a widely used, effective means of dispute resolution. However, issues arise when Council or party representatives do not have full authority. This is particularly problematic when determining whether to settle at the conclusion of a mediation. Invariably this leads to unnecessary delay and added cost.

In response, Judge Newhook has drafted a Practice Direction to further clarify the obligations of parties and their representatives participating in mediation. Consultation is now sought on this practice direction with relevant professions and other interested parties. The draft Practice Direction will be of particular interest to local authorities.

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Proposed Overhaul of the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987

Created: Friday, 12 April 2013 23:42

The Minister for Building and Construction, Maurice Williamson, has released the Consultation Document 'Making pool safety easier - Proposed changes to the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987' (Consultation Document) including nine proposals in response to continued frustration from pool owners, councils and water safety groups over the Act's workability. The Consultation Document can be found here.

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