Over the past few weeks NZPI has been digesting the Natural and Built Environment Draft Exposure Bill (NBA) to identify and agree what we consider are the key issues arising from the NBA. Addressing these issues will form the backbone of our submission. To flesh out our response to these issues we want to hear your thoughts, as our members on these issues and how they might be resolved.

You will be aware that the Natural and Built Environment Draft Exposure Bill (NBA) has been released and is open for submissions. In the lead up to the release of the NBA the Board discussed how we can engage as champions of the planning profession, recognising that the framework of the reform was broadly set when central government adopted the recommendations of the ‘New Directions for Resource Management in New Zealand’ report.

In these discussions consideration was given to the political landscape and the practical realities of central government’s reform programme. The outcome of these discussions was agreement within the Board and Institute that our role as planning practitioners is to bring an implementation lens to the development of the legislation. This recognises that while the path for reform is broadly set, we have a continuing role to ensure that what is developed can be implemented by planning practitioners. As a result, our discussions with both the Minster and Ministry officials have been in the context of this lens.

Since the release of the NBA, NZPI has been focused on developing our submission. This has included reviewing the exposure draft, the associated cabinet papers, and looking at other examples of an ‘outcomes focused’ planning system that might highlight principles to be considered in the development of the NBA, and the other associated legislation. As noted above, the focus of this initial work has been to identify and agree what we consider to be key issues with the NBA when considered through our implementation lens.

This work is now complete and the next step is provide you, our members, with the opportunity to share your thoughts on these issues. The best tool we have available to gather this feedback in a timeframe that allows for it to be considered in the development of our submission is a survey, so keep an eye on your inbox early next week for the link to the survey. I encourage you to click on the link and provide your thoughts.

In addition to the survey, we have set up a specific email address that is monitored by Joel and myself – and is also available to the Board directly. This is so members can provide comments related to the RM Reform outside of the formal survey process. The address is rmreform@planning.org.nz

While the Institute is utilising our resources to make a submission on behalf of the profession, we recognise that there is a diversity of voices and views in the profession and so myself and the Board encourage all our members to consider making a submission so that your individual views are made known to Ministry officials as they consider the next steps in the development of this critical legislation. You can get information on making a submission here.

In closing, as noted last week we have also met with Minister Parker to provide some of our thoughts and feedback directly and we continue to meet regularly with Ministry officials as part of our on-going engagement with central government on the reform programme, as well as the various other legislative and guidance projects they are working on. Therefore, if there is work happening in central government that impacts our profession and you want to understand how the Institute is engaging with this work, or if you want to assist the Institute in our engagement, I encourage you to reach out to us – you can do it at the reform specific email address noted above. That address again is rmreform@planning.org.nz.

Te Kokiringa Taumata | New Zealand Planning Institute