Big changes are afoot with the new Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. The Bill itself contains close to 40 changes and is the most comprehensive package of reforms to the Resource Management Act (RMA) since its creation 26 years ago. But what do all these changes actually mean in a practical sense? Let’s have a look at a few of the important ones now.
What Does The Bill Aim To Do?
The changes are designed to improve the resource management system. There is a focus on more effective environmental management, and to increase the capacity for development and economic growth.
According to the Ministry for the Environment, ‘the amendments aim to provide stronger national direction, a more responsive planning process, a streamlined resource consent process and better alignment with other legislation’.
Resource Consent Changes
One of the aims of the Bill is to minimise the red tape and expensive processes for the everyday residential site owner.
Notification: The need to notify the public on resource consent applications for ‘residential activity’ will be judged on a step by step process. it is hoped this will help streamline the process.
Fast Tracked Timeframes: Councils will have to turn fast-tracked applications around within 10 working days rather than the usual 20 working days.
Boundary Activities: You may not even need to apply for resource consent to erect an extension to your house, or a deck that is close to your neighbour’s boundary line. The need for consent is to be waived if your neighbour is happy to ‘sign off’ on your planned improvements.
What Do The Changes Mean?
The introduction of the Bill will mean that smaller scale residential changes should not get caught up in an intensive RMA processes. This reduces the prospect of major time delays, unnecessary expenses and inconvenience.
The new Bill seeks to remove the disproportionate regulations and make it easier for small scale projects to proceed.
The changes are due to come into effect on 18 October 2017.
Will I Still Need A Planner?
Even though the Bill should smaller scale projects easier on a consent level, we still recommend that you consult a planning expert before proceeding.
Planning Plus take great care to be up-to-date with best practise and changes to regulations. As such, we can advise you on the best course of action for your project. Then, we can help you gain any resource consent that is required.
If you are planning a project and you are unsure of your consent obligations, then get in touch with us for a chat. We will be able to help you understand your obligations and what steps you should take to complete your project successfully. You can contact us on 09 427 9966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s. Planning Plus is not liable for any errors or omissions.