Latest Articles

New Zealanders not Welcome

Created: Tuesday, 23 February 2016 19:22

It seems our booming tourism industry exists despite itself.  On the one side we have an industry asking New Zealanders to accept their overseas guests driving on New Zealand roads, that they cover the cost of screening those overseas guests for food items which could damage our agriculture industries and yet some members of that same industry refuse to accommodate those New Zealanders from whom it seeks those favours just because they are New Zealanders.

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Guide to protecting your intellectual property in a world market

Created: Thursday, 04 February 2016 06:49


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Franchisors - Are you ready for 2016?

Created: Wednesday, 03 February 2016 12:57

The start of any new year always holds such promise and potential.  Now is a good opportunity to consider various aspects of your business and consider ways that you can make your franchise even better than before. 

We have set below a few issues which you may like to consider for this year:

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Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 changes more than just RMA

Created: Wednesday, 16 December 2015 01:19

Continuing Brookfields commentary on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill ("the Bill"), we look at changes that go to legislation beyond the Resource Management Act 1991 ("RMA").

One of the key objectives of the Bill is to achieve better alignment and integration across the resource management system.  In order to accomplish this, the Bill provides for a number of amendments to other statutes in order to streamline the processes to be followed, and to reduce time-consuming duplication.  The key changes to other statutes are set out below.

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Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015: Changes to consenting

Created: Wednesday, 16 December 2015 00:19

This article discusses changes to the consenting process that have been introduced in the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill (the Bill).  Our previous articles discussing other changes contained in the Bill can be found on Brookfield’s Environment/Resource Management webpage.

The Bill introduces a number of measures that aim to simplify the consenting process – essentially by reducing the requirements for consents.  Among others, the Bill provides Councils with discretion to not require a resource consent for minor issues, introduces a 10-day ‘fast-track’ process for simple consents, and removes requirements for consents where they are already required under other Acts.  Minister for the Environment, Hon Nick Smith, has predicted that the suite of measures will “reduce the number of consents required each year by thousands.”   Key amendments to the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) as proposed by the Bill are outlined below:

Introducing ‘fast-track’ applications

  • The Bill creates ‘fast-track’ applications that are designed to speed up the consenting process for simple resource consents.  Fast-track applications are proposed to apply to applications that are controlled, other than subdivision of land (proposed s 87AAC(1)).
  • In addition, a proposed section 360F provides the Minister with the ability to prescribe certain activities or classes of activities as fast-tracked, so long as he or she is satisfied that they are of an appropriately small scale and complexity.
  • If an application is fast-tracked, a consent authority has 10 working days (as opposed to the regular 20) from the application being lodged to advise the applicant whether the application will be notified or not (s 87AAD). 
  • If an application is notified, or a hearing is held, the application will cease to be fast-tracked.
  • In all other ways a fast-tracked application is treated as a regular application under the RMA.

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Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015: Amendments to the plan making provisions

Created: Monday, 14 December 2015 22:56

The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill (the Bill) proposes a suite of amendments to the Resource Management Act 1991 (the RMA) so as to achieve the sustainable management of natural and physical resources in an efficient and equitable way. In particular, the Bill proposes a number of changes to the plan making processes in the RMA.

The Bill introduces two new planning tracks, resulting in a total of three different tracks by which a council can produce a plan:

  1. The existing track which now has tighter timeframes;
  2. A new collaborative track to encourage greater front-end public engagement, intended to produce plans that better reflect community values and thereby reduce litigation costs and lengthy delays; and
  3. A new streamlined track to provide for more flexibility in planning processes and time frames and allow these to be tailored to specific issues and circumstances.

Other amendments relevant to plan making include:

  1. Insertion of new Subpart 1 of Part 5 (Standards, policy statements and plans) relating to a National Planning Template;
  2. Insertion of new Subpart 2 of Part 5 relating to iwi engagement; and
  3. Miscellaneous amendments to Schedule 1.

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