MEDIA RELEASE | Planners to Play an Active Role in Government’s RMA Review

24 July 2019

The Government’s overhaul of the underperforming Resource Management Act (RMA) is long overdue, the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) said today.

Earlier today Environment Minister David Parker announced a comprehensive review of the RMA, aimed at improving environmental outcomes, reducing complexity of the consenting process, and streamlining urban development.

NZPI chair Karyn Sinclair says New Zealand planners welcome the review and its potential to fast track the delivery of much needed infrastructure, including housing, alongside sustainable land use.

“The key issues on the Government’s agenda are areas that NZPI has raised during the last few years,” says Karyn.

“Nearly 30 years after this key piece of legislation was passed, we now need to address planning and regulatory challenges that exist – for example housing affordability, the role of iwi in the planning process, water quality, urban development and the location of infrastructure.”

NZPI has been named as one of the key external organisations to be consulted by the Government during the review process.

“As the public face of the RMA, as planners we look forward to using our practical expertise to help in creating a system that is workable, affordable and improves our environment,” says Karyn.

“It will be a challenging process due to its wide scope, and the need to ensure those at the coalface can get involved and provide feedback. Ultimately, we hope to see a new system that finds the right balance between development and environmental protection.”

The review is the second stage of the Government’s two-stage approach to resource management reform. Urgent issues such as resource consenting and monitoring and enforcement processes are covered in new legislation already being drafted.

Minister Parker said today the Government’s aim is to produce a revamped law “fit for purpose in the 21st century that will cut complexity and cost while better protecting our environment”.

“It is unacceptable for this cornerstone law to be underperforming in a country that values protection of the environment while properly housing its people.”

The final report on the RMA review is due at the end of May 2020.

Media inquiries to:

Katie Moore
Convergence Communications
M: 022 0922 573


  • Established in 1949, NZPI has more than 2000 members involved in strategic planning initiatives and implementation of urban and rural plans.
  • NZPI members work in cities, towns, district councils and rural areas and specialise in a variety of different disciplines – for example transport, urban design or conservation.