The Ministry for the Environment has released the first engagement draft of the transitional National Planning Framework, and we have heard some confusion over what this means. This document is still at a pre-notification stage. It is publicly available to view, but it is not open for public submission. The public submission process, via a Board of Inquiry, is expected in April next year.

This release has occurred in accordance with the pre notification engagement requirement under the Natural and Built Environments Act (NBEA). The Act requires the Minister responsible (when developing the NPF) to engage with:

  • The National Māori entity,
  • Iwi authorities, groups that represent hāpu, and groups that represent Māori (other than iwi and hāpu), and
  • Individuals or organisations that the Minister considers representative of the local government sector.

Consultation on this draft version of the NPF is therefore focused on these parties.

The NBEA also states that the Minister responsible may, when developing an NPF proposal, engage with any other person that the responsible Minister considers appropriate before public notification of the proposal. NZPI has not received an invitation but is pursuing opportunities to be involved.

The draft transitional NPF can be found here:

Targeted engagement draft - Natural and Built Environment (Transitional National Planning Framework) Regulations

Update from the Ministry for the Environment on the National Planning Framework (NPF)

The NPF, secondary legislation under the NBA, is an essential part of the new RM system. Te Manatū mō te Taiao (the Ministry for the Environment) has been working alongside the Parliamentary Council Office to prepare a pre-notification engagement draft of the transitional NPF proposal to receive feedback from local government and Māori partners.

The first version of the NPF, known as the transitional NPF, is the initial step in delivering national direction for the new resource management system. It brings together existing and new national direction into one integrated framework to inform and support regional decision-makers in the development of the first Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS). Subsequent amendments to the NPF will be made in time to inform the development of the first Natural and Built Environment (NBE) plans.

Te Manatū mō te Taiao has released a pre-notification engagement draft of the transitional National Planning Framework (NPF) proposal to targeted groups to help shape the proposal before it is released for public consultation in April 2024.

These targeted groups include local government and Māori, as set out in the pre-notification engagement provisions of the Natural and Built Environment Act (NBA). All parties will have the opportunity to submit on the transitional NPF proposal when it is finalised and notified in April 2024.

The notified transitional NPF proposal will then go to a Board of Inquiry who will consider public submissions and provide recommendations to the Minister. The Minister must have regard to the Board’s recommendations when making final decisions on the transitional NPF, likely in 2025.

Although we are not inviting feedback from wider stakeholders during this pre-notification phase, the engagement draft of the transitional NPF proposal is available for public viewing here. Please note that the feedback received from local government and Māori partners during the pre-notification phase will inform the transitional NPF proposal that is notified for public submissions. Therefore, the notified version of the transitional NPF will differ from the current version; those with limited time may prefer to wait and review the transitional NPF proposal when it is notified.

The Ministry invites input and expertise from the planning sector in the next phase of the development of the transitional NPF.