The Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Bill, introduced in Parliament on 16 June and granted its first reading the same day, came into effect last Thursday, 9 July.
It will be available to fast-track development projects over the next 2 years.
The act allows any person to apply to the Environment Minister to fast-track a resource consent application, and requires authorities to apply to fast-track a notice of requirement, provided the project meets the purpose of the act and is not on land subject to Maori rights or a prohibited activity under the relevant plans & regulations.
If the minister agrees a proposal should be fast-tracked, it will go to an expert panel via an order-in-council, after consulting with other ministers & local councils.
The act will be repealed on 8 July 2022. After this date, any activity authorised by a consent or designation granted under the act will continue to be authorised, and the role of the Environmental Protection Authority, local authorities & iwi authorities in relation to those activities will remain. If a project has ministerial approval to proceed via the fast-track process when the repeal date arrives, it can continue under this process until the expert panel makes a decision on it.
The act lists 17 projects that can proceed straight to fast-tracking, with limited scope for consents to be declined or notices of requirements cancelled.
6 are in Auckland:
Northern Pathway – Westhaven to Akoranga shared path, NZ Transport Agency & Transpower NZ Ltd
Papakura-Pukekohe rail electrification, KiwiRail Holdings Ltd & Transpower NZ Ltd
Britomart Station eastern end upgrade, KiwiRail Holdings Ltd
Point Chevalier, Unitec residential development, any of the following entities – Nga Mana Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau, Marutuahu Ropu, Ngati Whatua Ropu, Waiohua – Tamaki Ropu, and Ministry of Housing & Urban Development
Point Chevalier, 73 Premier Avenue, papakainga development – Te Mahurehure Cultural Marae Society (supported by Te Puni Kokiri), construction of 14 affordable rental homes
Papakura- Drury South, State Highway 1 improvements, NZ Transport Agency & Transpower NZ Ltd
2 are in Northland – a papakainga housing development in Kaitaia and construction of the Matawaii reservoir at Kaikohe.
Attribution: Parliament, Minter Ellison.