News Item

February 2019

Major Research Report released on Resource Management Reform by EDS

EDS has today released its Law Foundation-funded report on phase 1 of its Resource Management Reform Project. The project has taken a first-principles look at how New Zealand’s resource management system could be improved.

The 340 page synthesis report is the culmination of 18 months of research, thinking and engagement. It examines key fundamental questions:

  • What do we have a resource management system for?
  • How do we see ourselves in relation to our natural and physical surroundings?
  • What roles should the system play in pursuing society’s aims?
  • What will the future require from our resource management system?

Photo of cover of final synthesis report from EDS titled REFORM OF THE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM  THE NEXT GENERATION

The report looks at the whole system, not just RMA. It examines how we design and arrange our legislation, institutions and opportunities for public involvement. It examines tools like regulations, plans, economic instruments and behavioural incentives. It integrates M?ori issues and perspectives into the discussion.

EDS’s Policy Director and co-author of the report, Raewyn Peart, says reform is clearly needed. “But we have deliberately stopped short of rushing to a single preferred model in the synthesis report. We want to encourage people to use our report and think carefully about options rather than jump prematurely to a particular solution. That’s been part of the problem too many ad hoc changes that have produced muddled and incoherent legislation,” said Ms Peart.

The report presents three broad models for reform with components that can be mixed and matched as debate continues. It is expected to feed into the Government’s 2019 review of our Resource Management System.

The next and final phase of EDS’s work, that has just commenced, will build on the analysis and options in the synthesis report and select and flesh out what a preferred model should look like. It will chart a practical pathway for reform for Parliamentarians and the public to consider. The final report for this work is due at the end of 2019.

The phase 1 project has been supported by the New Zealand Law Foundation, the Employers & Manufacturers Association, Property Council New Zealand, and Infrastructure New Zealand.

Further information on RM Reform Project

NZ Law Foundation has provided funding of $356,000 for research into this project.