More RMA reform needed

Environment Minister Amy Adams says the 2012/13 Resource Management Survey shows the Government’s first phase of RMA reforms aimed at improving consenting processes are paying off, however further reform of our planning frameworks is still required.

The survey of how well councils are implementing the Resource Management Act shows that 97 per cent of consents were processed on time for the 2012/2013 period, compared with 95 per cent in 2010/2011.

“This is a vast improvement from the 69 per cent of resource consents processed on time in 2007/08,” Ms Adams says.

Labour and the Green party have opposed National’s reforms but the figures show the positive difference they have made.

Delays are expensive, draining money and energy.

Speeding up the process helps productivity, whether or not consent is given.

“The overall trend across the country shows that resource consenting is becoming more timely and efficient, with fewer staff processing more resource consents. I commend councils for this improvement in performance.”

However the survey finds that resources and staffing required for the current planning framework is a challenge, particularly given extensive consultation requirements and maintaining community input and interest in the often lengthy processes.

“It is not surprising that plan making is identified as an area where further focus is required, as this has also been identified by the Government as a key area for reform, says Ms Adams.

“Councils also highlight the challenges in the time taken to move through planning processes and the difficulty in achieving regional consistency due to the different stages and nature of District Plans.”

“The Government’s reforms are specifically aimed at improving decision-making at every level and a driving fundamental shift towards more proactive planning for what we need, and away from reactive decisions through consents and court appeals.”

The biennial survey has been undertaken since 1995 and monitors council’s performance in implementing the Resource Management Act.

The RMA survey provides information on the Council processes, rather than the social, cultural, economic and environmental outcomes they contribute to.

This latest survey covers the period 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013 and all councils provided their data within the required timeframe and can be found at:

The RMA process is better than it was but further reform will make it better, reducing costs and delays for councils, applicants and anyone else supporting or opposing a consent.


9 Responses to More RMA reform needed

  1. JC says:

    There needs to be a substantial cost to objection under the RMA and similar penalties where a project is held up for what proves to be no good reason.



  2. homepaddock says:

    I think there is the ability to award costs against vexatious litigants.

    I am not sure what costs those objecting face but agree there does need to be a deterrent to those objecting without good grounds for doing so.

    We faced delays of a couple of years and substantial costs when applying for consent to take water as a result of people using us because they had a gripe with the regional council. In the end even their lawyer told them they had no case.


  3. robertguyton says:

    “Paying off”, for whom?
    Certain Amy Adams will be delighted with the changes, given her involvement with farms that need irrigating. No doubt she’ll be keen to increase her advantage with further reforms.


  4. Gravedodger says:

    God you are a mindless cock Guyton, should your wet dreams come to pass and the few remaining citizens are sitting in the light of a guttering candle under a leanto formed from wind thrown branches against a bank of a creek, will you then acknowledge your part in the collapse of society? if you are fortunate enough to also survive.

    The Hon Amy Adams would have more integrity in her left hand than you could muster in your whole miserable carcase.
    But then she wants people to build a nation for the betterment of all while you and your mindless imbeciles cant even work out what she is using as goals for such outcomes.

    All predicated on the belief “that you know best”.


  5. robertguyton says:

    “mindless cock” – it just gets better and better here. The quality of comment and commenter reflects the philosophy, for sure and I’m glad I’m able to coax such revealing reactions from the regulars here.
    You’re a gem, Gravedodger!


  6. Ray says:

    Ever REALLY thought about why you are banned from commenting on so many blogs, Mister Guyton?
    Signs of intelligence are a rare thing to find on blogs, wit even rarer.
    Your posts have neither.


  7. robertguyton says:

    I’m banned on two blogs, both written by intolerant Rightwingers with little tolerance for having their one eye poked.


  8. jabba says:

    “with little tolerance for having their one eye poked” .. brilliant .. hahahahahahahahahahahaha and Ray suggested you lack wit .. hahahahahahahahaha


  9. Dave Kennedy says:

    Getting 97% of consents through when many councils are understaffed doesn’t sound as though the RMA needs much fixing. Both Geoffrey Palmer (who was instrumental in writing the act) and our Environment Commissioner are appalled at the proposed changes. The act was design to protect the environment from damaging developments, not enable such things to happen, and yet that is what is proposed. We should be aiming for good process not expedient process.

    A far smarter way of operating is having a sound regional development plan so that as long as potential consents fit the plan and meet the criteria, they could be fast-tracked. It also would mean that projects that definitely don’t fit will be immediately rejected and this save time and expense for the applicant because they don’t have to go through a process for a negative result that could have been predicted.

    The only applications that may take time would be projects that don’t quite meed the criteria and may need greater scrutiny.


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