The Government has released the first set of draft national planning standards, which Environment Minister David Parker said would make plans under the Resource Management Act (RMA) easier to use & prepare.
The closing date for submissions is Friday 17 August.
“The aim is to make plans simpler & more efficient to prepare, and easier to understand & comply with,” Mr Parker said.
“Standardising plan format & definitions is long overdue. It will reduce compliance costs and address some of the justified criticisms by those who find Resource Management Act plans unduly complex.
“The standards will not determine local policy matters or the substantive content of plans, which remain the responsibilities of local councils & communities.”
Mr Parker said the standards would improve how the act operates, reduce costs to both councils & plan users and improve the public’s internet access to planning documents.
The Ministry for the Environment will seek formal submissions on the draft standards from the general public, councils, professionals & iwi over a 10 week period that will include meetings nationwide.
Once public consultations are complete, the final standards will be approved in April 2019.
“To implement the standards, councils will have to redraft their plans. We are proposing a 5-year implementation period for most plans and a 7-year period for councils that have recently concluded a major plan process. This allows the standardisation to occur as plans are routinely reviewed.
“The cost of updating plans to meet the standards will be vastly exceeded by the cost savings to those who use them.”
Attribution: Ministerial release.