Resource Legislation Amendment Bill

The RLAB is currently subject to a select committee process. It is quite extraordinary the extent of agreement that has arisen between different interest groups on the Bill. Many are concerned about the powers proposed to be given to the Minister and how the so-called Auckland provisions are threatening to contaminate resource management practice across the rest of the country. EDS shares those concerns.

EDS has also highlighted a particular problem with section 104 of the Act. There is a lot of effort going into plan-making, and of course plans have to “give effect to” superior instruments, starting at the top with National Policy Statements. But when it comes to resource consents, the chapeau changes to “have regard to.” That means that even if hard limits are set in plans for freshwater quality, councils can give consents that lead to over-allocation.

That makes a nonsense of the plan-making process. Where hard limits exist, they should be mandatory in the consenting phase.

Published May 2016.

Last updated at 10:32AM on August 8, 2016