Why the resource management system is changing

Resource management decisions shape our cities and towns, the quantity, density and location of housing supply and, in turn, how well our communities and homes meet people’s needs and aspirations.

The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) impacts what we can build and where. It doesn’t work well for urban areas and makes it hard to deliver the housing we need. It also hasn’t sufficiently protected the environment for future generations.

In February 2021 the Government announced it would repeal the RMA and enact new legislation.

About the new legislation

The Government is planning to introduce three new pieces of legislation:

  • Natural and Built Environments Act – the main replacement for the RMA, it will protect and restore the environment while making development easier.
  • Strategic Planning Act – provides a strategic and long-term approach to how we plan for using land and the coastal marine area.
  • Climate Change Adaptation Act – will address issues associated with managed retreat.

The new laws are an opportunity to improve:

  • the quality of the natural environment
  • housing supply and development within environmental limits
  • outcomes for towns and cities.

Read more about the proposed new legislation on the Ministry for the Environment’s website.(external link)

Our role in the reform

Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) is working alongside the Ministry for the Environment and other agencies to ensure the new system delivers the Government’s housing and urban objectives including:

  • ensuring the new system is responsive to demand, supporting development in the places people want to live

See more about the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development

  • Māori aspirations are supported, including development and housing interests

See more about MAIHI Ka Ora - the National Māori Housing Strategy

  • we build on the progress of growth partnerships, National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD), Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS) and other initiatives and programmes.

See more about the NPS-UD