This week marked the start of our webinar series on what we think about Resource Management Reform. We’ve been encouraged by your strong engagement in these sessions, which were attended live by over 500 members in session 1 and 300 members in session 2. We’d like to thank our presenters and all members who took the time to attend.

Resource Management Overview

Our first session, led by David Curtis, Emily Grace and Ben Farrell, was an opportunity to put our thoughts out to members and provide an overview of NZPI’s high-level approach to RM Reform. We also outlined the process for preparing the position papers and how these will be used to inform NZPI’s submissions on the two Bills, due to be introduced next month.

Key points raised in the session include:

  • The NZPI position papers will be ready in time for the submission period following the release of the new bills (expected mid-October).
  • NZPI has taken a pragmatic approach. David says NZPI’s chosen to be ‘inside the tent’ on reform but ‘not muzzled’.
  • NZPI seek feedback and engagement from all members to inform a representative position.
  • Position papers will be meaningful and informed but also ‘in principle’. However, they may change as more detail comes through to inform the process.

The Q & A session raised some important matters and helped to expand on the NZPI position as follows:

  • Support for a less adversarial approach than under the current system with more issues resolved at the front end.
  • Outcomes shouldn’t leave behind effects and if outcomes are the intention they should be written into legislation.
  • NZPI support a strong and independent role for commissioners hearing NBA plans and the draft position is for an independent body to manage commissioners.
  • NZPI recommend variety in the model regions chosen so that the models can be exemplar on a range of issues.
  • RM reform should not be Local Government or any other reform by stealth.
  • Targets and bottom lines; targets need to be incentivised, resourced and supported for us to move up.
  • It’s expected that an element of the NPF will specifically address climate change.
  • Giving effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi requires support and resourcing. If the membership has ideas or case studies on this topic NZPI encourage feedback. Case studies are particularly useful when communicating with policy makers, whether the outcomes were good or bad.
  • NZPI are supportive of co-governance but are as yet “unclear what it means”.

An Outcomes Planning System

At our second session David and Emily were joined by James Fuller where they outlined what we know and what we assume is meant by ‘outcomes planning’ under the new system and what NZPI’s draft position is on this. They discussed what NZPI think outcomes planning is, and opportunities we see for improvements.

Key points raised by NZPI in this session include:

  • The exposure draft suggests sustainable development will be replaced by a dual world view, with community wellbeing sitting alongside te Oranga a Te Taiao.
  • NZPI believe outcomes should be aspirational, led from the NPF with localised outcomes cascading down through to NBA plans.
  • Outcomes planning should allow better integration with Te Ao Maori.
  • The 13 Outcomes in the Exposure Draft are grouped into 4 categories. Roughly half are what would have been considered matters of national importance (section 6 RMA).
  • NZPI have been thinking about what the legislation needs to have in it to achieve outcomes-based planning.
  • More than legislation is needed to switch the system around.

Again, the Q & A session provided important feedback. Several ideas raised include:

  • An overly prescriptive NPS will be inflexible and cut out local aspirations.
  • The permitted baseline is an effects-based concept and may not have a place in an outcomes system.
  • Flexibility is needed for regions to develop their own governance structures in terms of their committee makeup. No maximum on size of committee is expected.
  • Timing – the intent is that the transition happens in accordance with the hierarchy, e.g., NPS-RSS-NBA Plans.

Join us for the remainder of our webinar series for the following sessions:

Tuesday 20th September: Focusing on Spatial Planning

Wednesday 21st September: Regional Level Planning (NBA plans)

Thursday 22nd September: Consenting Under the New System

Click here to register

Registrations closes midday, prior to each webinar.