Out with the old, in with the new: RMA to be repealed

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Following an independent review, the Government announced last year that it plans to repeal the RMA and replace it with three new Acts. These new acts are the Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA), the Strategic Planning Act (SPA), and the Climate Change Adaptation Act (CCAA).

What do these laws do?

The RMA is currently the primary legislation of New Zealand that governs the use of our resources being land, air and water. In particular it legislates uses associated with the development of land and property.

The three new Acts intend to provide a new system which will focus on:

  • environmental sustainability
  • change in process, which will hopefully make it easier (but judgement will be reserved for now!)
  • provision of infra structure

The NBA will be the main replacement for the RMA and its purpose to protect and restore the environment while better enabling development. The NBA will set out how the environment will be protected and enhanced and ensure that use, development, and protection of resources only occurs within prescribed environmental limits.

There is support for reform but the challenges with balancing environmental protections with quality development are not easy to solve.

Will this impact you?

The changes will affect you if you are looking to subdivide, develop and construct, or change the use of your land.

The change in law has not yet occurred. A draft paper is currently working its way through the Select Committee process. Although it recognises the need for reform, it has made a number of recommendations for changes to the NBA.

For now, the RMA continues to be the main piece of legislation governing development of land and property.

Gaze Burt provides services to its clients in property development and we work with a number of expert planners. Please contact our team if you would like any assistance.

Emma Boad
Emma Boad
Solicitor

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