Summary of the new resource management system

This page provides a very high-level summary of the new resource management reform. More information is available on the Ministry for the Environment's website. We will provide links to this information as it becomes available. 

Summary of the new system

The resource management system covers the use of natural and physical resources such as air, soil, freshwater, and the coastal marine area. The Natural and Built Environments Bill and Spatial Planning Bill will cover how land is used and infrastructure is enabled. Decisions will have a significant impact on provision of housing and climate change response. The reform is aimed at better protecting the environment, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of resource management, and delivering better outcomes for Māori.

The two new Bills being introduced are:

Natural and Built Environments Bill
The Natural and Built Environments Bill which will be the main replacement for the current RMA. This Bill will set up a national planning framework to assist with setting consistent rules on environmental protection and how resources can be used. These rules will need to be followed in plans.
Spatial Planning Bill 
The Spatial Planning Bill which aims to provide a more strategic and coordinated approach to long-term regional planning. It will require spatial planning to be done at the regional level through the development of regional spatial strategies. This will involve identifying certain areas like those that: are suitable for development, have a need for infrastructure, areas that may require protection or are vulnerable to climate change.

The framework for the new system will be different. The main elements of the new system are:


Current system  New system 

This diagram shows the hierarchy of planning in the current and new resource management system.

Key components of the reform resource management can be found on the Ministry for the Environment's website here.(external link) More detailed report of the new resource management system can be found here.(external link) 


Edited November 2022.