By Mike Vincent, Associate, Baseline Group | Feb 11, 2022
Love it or hate it, the RMA has shaped the development of New Zealand over the past 30 years. From two lot subdivisions to the exponential growth of towns like Rolleston and major infrastructure projects such as “roads of national significance”, the RMA has been the overarching document that has directed local government. But is time up for the RMA?
Among the public and professionals alike, there is a broad view the RMA is not working as originally intended. Thirty years of adjustments reflect a document which is corrupted and no longer bears resemblance to its original form.
Consequently, criticisms have been levelled at the case-by-case litigation of projects, seemingly losing sight of the Act’s main purpose (being the sustainable management of natural and physical resources). In some respects, the management of resources will always be different between Manukau and Leeston, but should they be so different between neighbouring post codes, or even neighbouring streets?
Other criticisms highlight that the RMA is susceptible to personal interpretations of amenity value. This in turn has impeded development in urban settings leading to housing shortages and congested road networks, contributing to poor social or economic outcomes. There is a common view that RMA timeframes are lengthy and frustrate the process of positive development, leading to uncertainty for major (and minor) projects.
Notwithstanding these issues, it is recognised the previous 30 years has seen genuinely important and momentous infrastructure development within New Zealand, and planning professionals can be proud of the advances made. However, with the passage of time brings new interpretations and with it, the opportunity to reinvest the lessons of 30 years of planning experience into new modern legislation.
In 2022 the Government will release three new pieces of environmental legislation: The Proposed Natural and Built Environments Act, Proposed Strategic Planning Act and Proposed Climate Adaptation Act. Whilst these documents are neither the be all and end all of planning legislation, it is hoped that this new approach will allow for clear and consistent direction on achieving the collective purpose of these new Acts.
No matter their application, development projects will still require professionals and those professionals will continue to provide expert advice and give you the answers you need for your development.
Articles you might be interested in
- The dream of subdividing your land
- What to do when you inherit land
- What does a professional planner do?
- Game changers for housing under the RMA
- Hazardous activities, land contamination and resource consent applications
- Buildings under exemptions may still need resource consent
- Rural allotment sizes set to double in West Selwyn
- Planning Rules can Affect Property Value
- Managing Cultural Heritage Sites
- Cross lease titles - an overview
- Who Shapes our Planning Rules?
- A Practical Guide for District Plan Reviews
- Negotiating with Neighbours Under the RMA
- Selwyn District Council Changes Urban Allotment Sizes
- Risks to farmland in the planning framework
- Is the RMA really the problem?
- Proposed Selwyn District Plan - What next?
- Rural Allotment Sizes set to Double
- How lizards might affect your new development
- But that’s the way we have always done it!
- Good District Plan provisions save time and money
- The importance of knowing your boundaries
- Why we have complicated septic tank disposal rules
- District Plan in Selwyn – How will it Affect You?
- RMA changes are coming, are you ready?
- Housing Growth continues in Selwyn with Legislative Support
- Commercial Activity in a Rural Zone – What’s the Harm?
- Indigenous Biodiversity: what does it mean for a farmer?
- Minimum car parking requirements to be chopped
- Spotlight on District Plan Provisions
- Minimum Car Parking Requirements to be Chopped