A cheaper, faster, better resource management system

Our Government is delivering a new resource management system that will better protect the environment while cutting red tape, lowering costs and speeding up the time it takes to approve new homes and infrastructure projects.

For decades, New Zealand’s broken resource management system contributed to the housing crisis and got in the way of much-needed infrastructure projects. It took too long, cost too much and didn’t unlock the development that Aotearoa needs. On top of that, it didn’t adequately protect our beautiful natural environment. 

We’ve worked hard to get this right on behalf of New Zealanders, and today we’ve announced a resource management system that’s faster, cheaper and better.

Here are the details:

Unlocking more homes

We’re making sure that building new housing is simpler, faster and cheaper for New Zealanders.

Our resource management reform will simplify the consenting process and replace complex consent applications. This has the ability to enable faster consenting timeframes and more affordable housing, through lower development costs.

Under our new system, developers, infrastructure providers and businesses will see the largest costs savings as consent volumes and costs decrease, saving hundreds of millions of dollars a year. You can find out more about how we’re boosting housing, here.

We know the current resource management system hasn’t supported Māori housing and development opportunities and this is an opportunity to turn that around. Our reform will help access greater infrastructure opportunities for Māori land and support the building of more Māori homes. 

Delivering better infrastructure

By making the resource management process quicker, cheaper and better, we’re helping to unlock the infrastructure that New Zealand needs – which also boosts our economy.

The cost and time it takes to get a resource consent for infrastructure projects has grown significantly in recent years, with smaller projects being affected far too often.

Together, infrastructure developers pay about $1.29 billion a year on consent processes, which comes to an average 5.5% of total project costs. That puts New Zealand at the extreme end compared with the UK and the EU.

Our new resource management system will deliver economic benefits by saving Kiwis time and money getting resource consents and getting much-needed infrastructure projects underway. You can find out more about how we’re unlocking infrastructure, here.

Protecting our environment

We’re making sure that the resource management system better protects our environment, with a shift to an outcomes-based approach.

On top of the work that we’re already doing to restore our beautiful natural environment, this will help to prevent the problems that New Zealanders have seen with the existing resource management system, like the quality of freshwater declining and a loss of biodiversity.

Our new resource management system will also help to provide farmers and the agriculture sector with clearer direction around consenting. You can learn more about that, here.

The previous National Government failed to deliver comprehensive resource management reform. Instead, they introduced a patchwork of ‘fixes’ that only made the RMA longer and more complex.

Under National, the resource management system didn’t adequately protect our environment or unlock the housing and infrastructure development that Aotearoa needed.

Our Government knew that reform was needed. Everyone was frustrated – environmentalists, developers, councils, farmers, and home builders. And after successive Governments failed to deliver comprehensive resource management reform – we are getting it done.

We’re making it easier and more affordable to deliver housing and infrastructure in the places people need, while protecting the natural environment and saving our economy hundreds of millions of dollars.

The country’s housing crisis has been decades in the making and we know it will take time to turn around, but our Government has a plan and we’re making good progress.

You can learn more about our resource management reform, here.

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