January 26, 2016
Various major national policy initiatives are underway to review and reform New Zealand's planning system, New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) chief executive Susan Houston says.
These include the Resource Management Act (RMA) Amendment Bill, the inquiry and report on Better Urban Planning by the Productivity Commission, under Treasury direction, examining New Zealand's system of urban planning; and Local Government New Zealand's Blue Skies: Planning and Resource Management think-piece which reviews the performance of the RMA and provides many ideas for the future.
"The discussion extends beyond simply RMA legislation to an examination of the planning process and the possibility of change within New Zealand's planning system," Houston says.
"The 2500 professional planners that make up NZPI's membership are uniquely placed to contribute to the national debate and initiatives currently under way. It is vital that their expertise is recognised and their voices are heard if New Zealand is to improve its planning system.
"The deadlines for formal submissions to the RMA Amendments Bill is tight but NZPI has moved quickly over the summer break to survey members and provide some initial analysis and recommendations that will help New Zealand.
"NZPI expect to be presenting its members views on the proposed RMA amendments to the Select Committee in the first quarter of this year. We will also be contacting other professional institutes and organisations to test where there might be an opportunity for mutual support of submissions.
"NZPI will also be making a submission to the inquiry into 'ËBetter urban planning' currently underway by the Productivity Commission. This is a critical and holistic piece of work that is welcomed, but again, it is imperative that the voices of planners and their expertise is recognised if the Inquiry is to achieve a quality outcome. NZPI has moved quickly to develop an initial position on the Inquiry. That position has been drafted as a think-piece which queries some of the principles of the Inquiry and hopefully stimulates debate within and beyond its membership.
"NZPI is determined to provide thought leadership on the future of New Zealand's system of urban planning and planning generally. We will be sharing our thinking with our broader membership and with partner organisations including Local Government New Zealand, New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development, the Resource Management Act Law Association and the Environmental Defence Society," Houston says.
For further information contact Susan Houston, NZPI chief executive, on 021 555754 or Make Lemonade media specialist Kip Brook on 0275 030188
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