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RMA changes are coming, are you ready?

By Mike Vincent, Associate, Baseline Group | Feb 16, 2022

Beginning in August 2022, new Resource Management Act (RMA) regulations will change the face of planning in New Zealand.

These changes are promising less red tape and simplified requirements for land development, with fewer consents required for subdivisions and residential buildings.

The new rules governing resource use and building and development will enable greater development in residential settings. But subdividing a city lot for infill housing or splitting off rural lots for a new greenfield development is still going to be a complex process.

Introducing a completely new suite of rules will have challenges such as councils facing a big learning curve as they adjust their systems to the new rules.

John Ferguson, director of Christchurch-based land development consultants Baseline Group, recommends getting expert advice and guidance as changes are implemented.

"Having a team who understands the old systems and is fully up to speed on the new ones will be crucial in getting through this transitionary period."

With these sweeping changes to the RMA pending later this year, Baseline Group is gearing up for a busy year.

As trusted experts in land development across the Canterbury region, they are staying as up to date as possible on what the proposed changes will look like.

"Our clients count on us to provide them with the most current information possible and give the best advice about their development process along the way," says Ferguson.

He says his team is already working hard to stay up to date on the details of the changes as they become available to make sure current and future clients have the latest information and are ready to take action.

Time for change

Shelagh Bassett and Lindsay Talbot are thrilled they chose to work with the experts at Baseline Group on a recent land development project on their section in Heathcote.

After raising their family and enjoying their spacious property for many years, it was time for a change. An initial plan was drawn up by another consultant, but Bassett and Talbot ended up being referred to Baseline Group.

"We just weren't happy with our first consultant," says Bassett, "but John at Baseline really listened to all of our concerns and gave us the encouragement and the confidence that we could actually make this work."

She emphasised how important it was for her to partner with someone both knowledgeable and approachable. "I really felt I could always go back to John with my questions, even the silly ones, and he'd take the time to clearly explain things to me."

The development process always has its challenges and it's rare for there to not be a few bumps in the road, but the outcome has been worth it for the couple.

"Waiting for consents from Council was the worst part," they said. But they're getting ready to start selling their new lots and they have already recommended Baseline Group to friends.

"We definitely couldn't have done it without them."

Mike Vincent, an associate at Baseline Group, says partnering with experienced experts who understand the process is a clear benefit to their clients.

"We can identify and fix issues sooner, spot additional opportunities that could have been missed and provide certainty. You can be sure we'll be fully up to date on all the RMA changes as soon as they happen to make sure our clients continue to get the best results."

If you're thinking about land development, talk to the experts at Baseline Group and see how you can maximise your site's potential.

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