Reform of the Resource Management System: The Next Generation (Working Paper 3)

Reform of the Resource Management System: The Next Generation (Working Paper 3)

By Greg Severinsen and Raewyn Peart

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This report is available as a downloadable pdf. You can view and download it from the project page on this website here.

Following on from the first two papers, which examined a wide variety of matters from ethics to legislative design, the third working paper considers most of the remaining aspects of system reform. It discusses alternative approaches to addressing Māori interests, the design of institutions and the importance of resourcing and funding, and the proper role of the system. It also investigates various operational components – from economic instruments to compliance, monitoring, enforcement and evaluation.

“These are among the trickiest areas to navigate,” said senior researcher, Dr Greg Severinsen.

“When we talk about institutions, for instance, we’re not just talking about impersonal structures – they consist of real people, doing valuable work. But that doesn’t mean we should be resistant to change. We need to ask the right questions in a systematic and holistic way, rather than attacking or constantly reshuffling agencies in response to crises.

“Let’s think about the characteristics of institutions, their place within the wider system and their relationships with each other. Why are agencies independent or accountable? Central or local? Tasked with a narrow or broad remit? One trend we’re seeing is a more robust degree of structured independent advice to government – from institutions like the proposed Climate Commission and a new independent infrastructure entity (the so-called I-body),” said Dr Severinsen.

The working paper includes contributions from a variety of experts, including Dr Robert Joseph on the interface between tikanga Māori and resource management law, Professor Tim Hazledine, Dr Tim Denne, and Dr Theo Stephens on the role of the economy and economic instruments, and Dr Marie Brown on compliance, monitoring and enforcement.

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