Opening of Parliament and the Resource Management System

The Speech from the Throne at the State Opening of Parliament has outlined the legislative policy agenda and priorities of the Government for the next three years.

The speech by the Governor General has outlined that ‘improving the planning system’ is a priority for the Government. The Government will repeal and replace the Resource Management Act (1991) to ensure that the resource management system is fit-for-purpose, better enables development and provides necessary environmental protections. The Randerson Review will provide the platform to advance this reform. The Government is expected to release an exposure draft of key elements of the first Bill of the replacement legislation in the first half of 2021. 

The Government also outlined that addressing the Global Climate Crisis is a priority for the next three years. Firstly, a Climate Change Emergency will be declared by the end of 2020. The Government will then pursue carbon neutrality and mitigate/adapt to the effects of Climate Change. This will be linked with the existing and reformed resource management system. Recent changes to the RMA now enable councils to consider discharges to air of greenhouse gas emissions. A National Environmental Standard is also set to be developed to provide for this.  

The Government also intends to remove barriers to renewable energy generation through the updating of the National Policy Statement for Renewable Energy Generation. 

Finally, the Climate Change Commission will soon open consultation on the Six Principles that will advise the Government on the first Emissions Reduction Plan. The consultation will run from the 1st February 2021 to the 14th of March 2021.

This article is intended only to provide a summary of the subject covered. It does not claim to be comprehensive or to provide advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the article without first obtaining specific professional advice. If you require any advice or further information on the subject matter, please contact us.

Contributed by: George Sariak
Published on: 27 November 2020