“RM Reform Update”: Ministry of the Environment

The Ministry of the Environment has a e-news mail-out "RM Reform Update" which provides updates on the RM Reforms progress.

You can subscribe to it at the following link:

The Fifth Edition is out.

The following is the text of the fifth edition of RM Reform Update

Message from the Ministry for the EnvironmentKia ora koutou, With Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to reach out and thank you all for your input and constructive feedback over the year as we have continued our work towards reforming the resource management system. It’s been a busy year and we really value the time you have taken to share your valuable insights and knowledge. There will be further engagement opportunities next year which we will use this newsletter to update you on. Chief among them will be the select committee process for the NBA and SPA, where we would again value your perspective and input. Before that though, have a restful, safe and enjoyable Christmas break. 

Meri Kirihimete,
Janine Smith, Deputy Secretary, Natural and Built System and Climate Mitigation

Engaging on the future resource management system

The Ministry has been running a series of information sessions to update partners and stakeholders on the latest developments in RM Reform, answer questions and receive feedback on the proposals. 

The information sessions were well attended with more than 1,500 people joining us over the engagement period, reflecting the high level of interest for this work amongst our stakeholders. Information sessions were also held in conjunction with the Resource Management Law Association and the New Zealand Planning Institute. 

Alongside the sessions, in early December we took the opportunity to meet with a core group of sector chief executives representing ENGOs, the planning profession, business, infrastructure, industry and the primary sector. We appreciated the group’s insight on the practicality and workability of the future system and we look forward to meeting with them on an ongoing basis. 

Key themes from our engagement included the importance of working through conflict and hierarchy as the National Planning Framework is developed and balancing outcomes for the built and natural environments. The system’s capacity to deal with the volume of ongoing legislative change was raised too, and how we can ensure the reforms fit together. 

Attendees were also keen to make sure practical expertise was built-into the system design and emphasised the need for stronger partnerships between all key players, bringing together theory and practice to have the right expertise available at the right time. 

In February we will be undertaking separate engagement with ENGO’s and the primary sector, so keep an eye out for these opportunities which will be advertised in the new year. 

Transition and implementation 

The Government is committed to reforming our RM system so that it is fit-for-the-future and addresses the many challenges facing our environment and our communities. This will include making better use of digital technologies – from e-consenting platforms to digital planning tools. 

Digital transformation provides significant opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the resource management system. A team from MfE took part in the GovTech accelerator programme this year, working with DIA, councils, iwi and industry to develop options for a digital transformation work programme. The digital transformation team are now reviewing feedback and considering the next steps in our digital journey. 

We are also working to establish what can be achieved within the 10-year reform timeframe as recommended by the RM Review Panel, and what the implications of such a timeframe are. More policy work is yet to be done, and we will continue to incorporate advice from partners and participants in the system as we develop transition pathways and scenarios. We plan to touch base with key stakeholders in early 2022 with more detail as developments proceed. 

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year break, and we will be in touch again early in the new year with another RM Reform Update. 

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