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The Government has introduced two new Bills – the Natural and Built Environments Bill and Spatial Planning Bill) to replace the Resource Management Act (RMA)

Visit the Ministry for the Environment website for more information on the RMA reform.(external link)

The Resource Management Act and housing

The Resource Management Act is one of New Zealand’s most important pieces of legislation. It governs what can be built where, when, and how.

But over the decades, the RMA has failed to enable the housing we need and failed to support Māori housing aspirations. A key goal of the RMA reform is to focus on what the housing and urban system needs to deliver including, improving housing supply, affordability, choice, and supporting Māori housing outcomes.

Three new Bills will be introduced to replace the existing RMA :

Natural and Built Environment Act  

  • The Natural and Built Environment Act will be the primary replacement for the RMA.  
  • It will aim to protect and restore the environment while enabling development within environmental limits, through a National Planning Framework (NPF), Natural and Built Environment Plans (NBA Plans), and resource consents.  

Spatial Planning Act

  • The Spatial Planning Act will deliver long-term - 30-100 years - plans through Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) to guide matters of long-term strategic importance for integrated spatial planning in a region and set out a vision and objectives to guide the region. 

Climate Adaptation Act

  • The Climate Adaptation Act will be introduced at a later date.

Progress of the legislation

As at November 2022, the Natural and Built Environment and the Spatial Planning Bills will go to select committee and the Government aims to pass them into law before the next election.

When available, please visit the Parliament website(external link) to follow progress of the Bills and make a Select Committee submission.