As you may be aware, on April 27 the government released the draft National Adaptation Plan, signalling the start of a period of consultation, with consultation and submissions closing June 3.

According to the press release from Minster Shaw, ‘The draft National Adaptation Plan outlines the actions the Government will take over the next six years to respond to the priority climate-related risks identified in the 2020 National Climate Change Risk Assessment’.

Check out the full press release from Minister Shaw here.

Focus area one of the draft National Adaptation Plan is to ‘Reform institutions to be fit for a changing climate’. This is immediately qualified with the statement ‘legislation and institutions are fit for purpose and provide clear roles and responsibilities’ – I have added the bold emphasis as it would be easy to think this has limited effect on the planning profession as the heading focuses on reforming institutions, not professions. However, the first critical action under this section is the reform of the resource management system. The second critical action is to pass legislation to support managed retreat, which they specifically note will be progressed through the development of the Climate Adaptation Act. As I am sure you are aware, this is one of the three Acts slated to replace the RMA. So, the first two critical actions listed in the plan are explicitly about the reform of the resource management system.

In much the same way that the frameworks set out in the New Directions for Resource Management in New Zealand report (informally known as the Randerson Report) has shaped the governments approach to reforming the RMA, particularly in relation to the NBEA and SPA, it is reasonable to expect that the frameworks set out in the draft National Adaptation Plan will shape the Climate Adaptation Act. For this reason, it is vital that planners make their voices heard in this submission period. If we are silent now, the framework for one of the key legislative tools that our profession will use for the foreseeable future will be set without us.

There are many options for making your voice heard. These include attending one of the online workshops the MfE are running – details of the workshops can be found here; providing feedback directly to MfE, which you can do here; or providing feedback to the Institute to assist us in shaping our submission – feedback can be sent to

You can read the full draft National Adaption Plan here. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the draft National Adaptation Plan and consider what actions you can take to help shape this vital piece of policy.