EDS Lodges Its Final Submission On The Resource Management Reform Bills


The Environmental Defence Society has released its final submission on the Natural and Built Environment Bill (NBEB) and the Spatial Planning Bill (SPB). EDS had earlier released a draft submission and sought feedback from interested parties.

“We have had terrific engagement on our draft submission from resource management professionals, the community and fellow environmental groups, and we thank everyone for their input,” said EDS CEO Gary Taylor.

“EDS’s submission has now been formally lodged with the Environment Select Committee and we will be appearing in support of it in due course. It builds upon the earlier draft by elaborating on some key issues.

“In particular, we are seeking stronger measures to make sure that development does not take place in flood-prone areas, and that councils better plan for managed retreat. These are two issues that Cyclone Gabrielle has highlighted to be critically important if we are to create a country that is resilient to the effects of climate change.

“We expect that these issues will be addressed in more detail in the anticipated Climate Adaptation Bill, which is now likely to be brought forward in the legislative agenda. Our first working paper on that proposed bill, which canvasses the principles and funding for managed retreat, is available here.

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“We would like to acknowledge the incredible effort that the author of our submission on the two resource management bills, Policy Director Dr Greg Severinsen, has put into this exercise. He has distilled a huge volume of material to identify the key issues with the bills, how they can be addressed and the elements that should be retained.

“As is clear from EDS’s submission, the NBEB in particular needs substantive improvements, including to its purpose and principles, outcomes clause, framework for limits and targets and provisions relating to protected areas. The transitional arrangements also need fleshing out and the structure of the bill needs rationalising. Finally, we think that the NBEB and the SPB need to be better synchronised.

“However, with the improvements outlined in our submission, we think the two bills should become law, as they will be a considerable improvement on the Resource Management Act,” Mr Taylor concluded.