Local government updates

COVID-19 response: Council meeting procedures
7 Apr 20

From 26 March 2020, the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Act 2020 introduces changes to the way in which local authorities conduct their meetings and provide information to the public. An amendment to the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) provides local authority members with ...

Official Information and Councils – the Ombudsman is looking at you!
3 Mar 20

In November 2019 the Ombudsman published the latest in a series of Practice Reports examining Local Government compliance with the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA). LGOIMA aims to ensure local authority accountability and transparency by increasing public access to official information ...

The Four Well-beings – change to the Local Government Act 2002
28 May 19

The Government has just passed an Act to reinstate the four well-beings into the Local Government Act ((Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Act 2019)). This reintroduces what the previous National led Government changed in 2012. The purpose of the Local Government Act ((Section 3))is changed ...

Government Three Waters Review
21 Nov 18

On 20 November 2018 the Government announced more details on its Three Waters Review. This is a wide ranging review, potentially leading to dramatic change on how drinking water, stormwater and wastewater systems currently administered by Councils will be operated. A link to the approved ...

Super City Plan adopted
19 Aug 16

The Council's decision on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan is due to be released this afternoon (19 August). You will be able to view the final decision here: "AUP Decision". See our website article for further information on what the process has involved to date, ...

‘Super City’ Plan recommendations may make a political perfect storm
27 Jul 16

Today the Independent Hearings Panel will publicly release its recommendations to the Auckland Council for the first Auckland Unitary Plan. View the Panel's recommendations as they come live here: Understanding the Process The Unitary Plan is the first resource management plan developed for the Auckland ...

Councils under (housing) arrest
2 Jun 16

Government today released its proposed National Policy Statement Urban Development Capacity ("NPS-UDC"). This release follows on from high level consultation undertaken last year, see our article - An Entirely New Approach to Urban Planning in the Wind. The proposed NPS-UDC is one instrument in a ...

Resource Management Act reforms delayed
2 Jun 16

The progress of the Government's reform of the Resource Management Act 1991 has slowed. The Local Government and Environment Select Committee were due to report back on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill to the House on 3 July[1]. An extension has been sought and granted ...

Earthquake-prone Buildings New Law Passed
20 May 16

The Building Act has included provisions to manage earthquake-prone buildings for some time. After the Canterbury earthquakes the Government instigated a Royal Commission that recommended changes to these provisions. The changes initially promoted by Government were contentious and have been significantly amended via the Select ...

QLDC Funding and Rating Changes 2016
26 Apr 16

Queenstown Lakes District Council ("QLDC") has announced its latest changes to its Funding and Rating policies which form part of its 2016-2017 Annual Plan (the "Plan"). The Plan was notified on 6 April 2016 and submissions close to the public on 29 April 2016. Key ...

Government Continuing Its Reform of Local Government Sector
8 Apr 16

The Government has announced that it intends in June this year to propose a Bill to amend the Local Government Act 2002.  The aim is to have this Bill in force in 2016, so it is available for councils to use next year.  This legislative ...

Rural land in Queenstown Lakes District – What does the District Plan Review mean for you?
15 Oct 15

The District Plan Review (DPR) has been notified. Submissions from the public close on 23 October 2015. Many of the district's rural land has been re-zoned. In addition, the provisions relating to rural land are proposed to change significantly. There are three main categories of ...

Low Density Residential Zones – What does the Queenstown District Plan Review mean for you?
14 Oct 15

The District Plan Review has been notified. Submissions from the public close on 23 October 2015. Areas such as Kelvin Heights, most of Fernhill/Sunshine Bay, Frankton, uphill of Frankton Road, Arthurs Point, most of Arrowtown and much of Wanaka will remain zoned “Low Density Residential”. ...

Arrowtown Residents – What does the Queenstown District Plan Review mean for you?
13 Oct 15

The District Plan Review has been notified.  Submissions from the public close on 23 October 2015. Arrowtown is proposed to be zoned a mix of low density residential, medium density residential and Arrowtown Residential Historic Management Zone: http://www.qldc.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Planning/District-Plan/Maps/Map-27-Arrowtown.pdf. In the operative Plan, Arrowtown's zones are ...

New Zealand’s First Environmental Reporting Act
6 Oct 15

Parliament passed the Environmental reporting Act 2015 into law on Thursday 24 September. This legislation will make environmental reporting mandatory for the first time in New Zealand. The purpose of the legislation is simply 'to require regular reports on New Zealand's environment'. The Act also ...

Changes to Pool Safety Rules
5 Oct 15

The Building (Pools) Amendment Bill was introduced for its first reading on 16 September, amending the Building Act 2004 and repealing the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987. This Bill has implications for all owners of pools as well as developments incorporating water garden features ...

Southland Water and Land Plan – Consultation
7 Aug 15

Environment Southland ("Council") has released a non-statutory consultation document "Towards a New Plan" in preparation for the Proposed Water and Land Plan ("the Plan"). The aim is to formally notify, and invite submissions on the Plan in early 2016; however this consultation stage is vital ...

Councils Told to Work Together and Reduce Spending
28 Jul 15

Mayors, councillors and senior council staff recently met in Rotorua where they were addressed by Hon Paula Bennett, the Minister for Local Government. Two substantive issues were addressed by the Minister, being amalgamations and funding sources. Amalgamation Since the creation of the Auckland super city ...

Christchurch Replacement District Plan – Stage 3 Notified
27 Jul 15

Stage 3 of the Christchurch Replacement District Plan has been notified, with submissions closing 4 September. This covers the Central City, natural and built heritage, coastal and natural hazards, a special purpose flat land recovery area for the red zone, and remaining parts of the ...

Environment Canterbury transition plan announced
8 Jul 15

The Government has today announced that Environment Canterbury (ECan) will move to a mixed governance council of seven elected councillors and up to six appointed in 2016 as a transition to a fully elected council in 2019. Elected representatives were replaced in March 2010 by ...

Reform of resource consent application processes
4 Feb 15

As of 3 March 2015, Resource Management Amendment Act 2013 reforms take effect to honour government promises to speed up council decisions on "medium sized" projects. The reforms clarify and add to requirements for information to be included within a resource consent application and the ...

The Central Otago District Council’s District Plan Review Discussion Document
24 Oct 14

The Central Otago District Council's District Plan has been operative since 2008 and is currently under full review. The Council has identified potential changes to its District Plan that will be addressed in the review. Those changes have been notified in a Discussion Document and ...

Further Round of Local Government Act Amendments Passed; New Council Processes Required
31 Jul 14

The past few years have seen a series of amendments to the Local Government Act 2002. Some changes have been fundamental such as the changes to the purpose of Local Government from a focus on the wellbeing of the community to a restricted focus on ...

Accelerated Process for Christchurch Replacement District Plan
11 Jul 14

Decisions on matters of priority to be made on the Christchurch Replacement District Plans by 28 February 2015. Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Environment Minister Amy Adams announced the Government agreed to the request by the Christchurch City Council for an accelerated district ...

Otago’s Future – Review of the Regional Policy Statement
9 May 14

The Otago Regional Council (the ORC) is inviting the public to get involved in how Otago's resources are managed in the future. The ORC has begun a review of its Regional Policy Statement (the RPS) and has published an 'issues and options' document for consultation, ...

Court Wary about Reference to Genetically Modified Organisms in Regional Policy Statement
24 Feb 14

Genetically modified organisms are controlled under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO). However, a number of councils are currently considering inclusion of provisions within policy statements and plans under the Resource Management Act to regulate activities involving genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The ...

New Local Government Act Amendment Proposed
7 Nov 13

On Monday the 4th November Hon Chris Tremain introduced the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3) ("Amendment Bill"). This Amendment Bill does not have the fundamental changes that the last round of reform had. Instead changes relate to: the provisions around development contributions; ...

For more information contact:

Richard Greenaway

richard.greenaway@al.nz