In brief: Legislation updates

23 Aug 22

Crown Pastoral Land Reform Act 2022

The bill to amend the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998 and the Land Act 1948 has passed its third reading and received royal assent. The reform ends the practice of tenure review and introduces a new regulatory system which controls the activities which may be undertaken on Crown land.

Additional changes in the Act will not come into effect for six months, allowing time for related regulations and standards to be developed. The additional changes include a new regulatory system that identifies a range of farming and other management activities as permitted, discretionary, or prohibited. The new system will establish a new process for consenting activities on pastoral land, with the aim of achieving positive outcomes such as maintaining or enhancing pastoral land.

It will be an infringement offence to undertake a range of activities (including burning vegetation, disturbing soil, undertaking an activity without a recreation permit, or contravening a stock limitation) without a permit/consent, unless that activity is otherwise permitted.

Local Government Reform

The Review Panel established to consider New Zealand’s system of local democracy and governance is now halfway through the review process. The review is considering the functions, roles and structure of local government, including relationships with central government, iwi and other public organisations, how Treaty partnership is embodied, and funding arrangements.

An interim report, based on initial scoping and early engagement, was released in September 2021, and signalled lines of inquiry for the next stage. Broader public engagement has recently closed. The Panel is now expected to release findings and recommendations at the end of September 2022, following which a formal consultation period will take place. The final report is due to be delivered in April 2023.

Resource Management Reform

The Natural and Built Environments Act will be the main replacement of the Resource Management Act. A Select Committee inquiry into the exposure draft was completed in November 2021, and drafting of the full Natural and Built Environments Bill is currently underway.

It is expected that the Bill will be introduced to Parliament in the second half of 2022, along with the Spatial Planning Bill. The Government aims to pass the Natural and Built Environments Act, and the Spatial Planning Act, within this current parliamentary term. A third bill forming part of the reform package, the Climate Adaptation Bill, will follow on a later timetable.


PDF version: here.

This article was included in Edition 6 of our rural newsletter – Rural. which you can read here.

For more information contact:

Sarah Eveleigh