New Directions for Resource Management in New Zealand is a comprehensive review of New Zealand’s resource management system. The review process was an opportunity to design a new system for resource management that delivers better outcomes for our environment, society, economy, and culture. The Resource Management Review Panel has made recommendations that will reorient the system to focus on delivery of specified outcomes, targets and limits in the natural and built environments.
- The Resource Management Act (RMA) should be repealed and replaced with new legislation to be called the Natural and Built Environments Act.
- The purpose of the Natural and Built Environments Act should be to enhance the quality of the natural and built environments to support the wellbeing of present and future generations and to recognise the concept of Te Mana o te Taiao.
- The purpose of the Act should be achieved by ensuring: positive outcomes for the environment are promoted; the use, development and protection of natural and built environments is within environmental limits; and the adverse effects of activities on the environment are avoided, remedied or mitigated.
- There should be a requirement to give effect to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
- Current matters of national importance should be replaced by positive outcomes specified for the natural and built environments, rural areas, tikanga Māori, historic heritage, and natural hazards and the response to climate change.
- Mandatory environmental limits should be specified for certain biophysical aspects of the environment including freshwater, coastal water, air, soil and habitats for indigenous species.
- Ministers and local authorities should be required to set targets to achieve continuing progress towards achieving the outcomes.