Submission on the Natural and Built Environments Bill: Parliamentary Paper

In 2019 the Government established an independent Resource Management Review Panel chaired by retired Court of Appeal Judge, Hon Tony Randerson, QC to undertake a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act (RMA). The Panel’s Report was released in July 2020 and among its recommendations was the replacement of the RMA by two separate pieces of legislation; a Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA) and a Strategic Planning Act (SPA).

In February 2021, the Government announced it would repeal the RMA and enact new legislation based on the recommendations of the Resource Management Review Panel.  New legislation would include the NBA and SPA, to be introduced and passed over the course of 2022, and a third Act the Change Response Act (CCA) to be introduced by Minister Shaw (likely in 2023).

On the 29th of June, Environment Minister David Parker referred the draft NBA Bill and accompanying parliamentary paper to the Environment Select Committee for inquiry.  The Committee have been provided a discrete terms of reference to assess the Bill against, including for example its efficacy when compared to the RMA.

Covering land use and environmental regulation, the NBA is the primary replacement for the RMA.  However the NBA takes a substantially different approach to the RMA, with a focus on enhancing the quality of the environment, and achieving positive outcomes to support the wellbeing of present and future generations.

Federated Farmers submission in summary says that the draft Bill is far too light on detail to provide an appropriate assessment of how farming is provided for.  Concerns are also noted about the inclusion of environmental outcomes and the precautionary approach, how the Bill will impact property rights, a lessening of local decision making and accountability, and a redirection of power to the Minister for the Environment. 

To view the whole submission click opposite
A summary of the key concerns is also available opposite.