Progress of the Natural and Built Environment Acts – Reform Series

17 Aug 23

The Natural and Built Environment (NBE) Act and Spatial Planning (SP) Act to be given Royal Assent

The NBE and SP Acts will be given Royal Assent and made law.

Royal Assent

Royal Assent is given by the Governor General of New Zealand on the advice of the Prime Minister. Acts are assented to in the order they are passed by the House, generally, within seven days after the Third Reading.

Post Royal Assent

After the Acts receive Royal Assent they are published on the Legislation website within 5 working days.


Once the Acts are assented to and they come into force in accordance with the commencement sections.

The SP Bill comes into force the day after Royal Assent.

The following provisions of the NBE come into force on the day after Royal Assent:

  1. Parts 1 to 3:
    1. Part 1: Purpose and preliminary matters.
    2. Part 2: Duties, responsibilities, and restrictions.
    3. Part 2A: Exercise of functions, powers, and duties under this Act.
    4. Part 3: National planning framework.
  2. Part 4 (except section 100):
    1. Part 4: Natural and built environment plans
    2. Section 100: Regional planning committees to be appointed.
  3. Part 5 (except section 289):
    1. Part 5: Resource consenting and proposals of national significance.
    2. Section 289 Consent authority may cancel or prevent transfer of coastal, water or discharge permits.
  4. Parts 6 to 7:
    1. Part 6: Management of particular resources and areas.
    2. Coastal matters.
  5. subpart 2 of Part 8:
    1. Subpart 2: Heritage protection orders.
  6. Part 9:
    1. Part 9: Subdivision and reclamation.
  7. Part 11 (except for the sections specified in subsections (2A) and (2B)):
    1. Compliance and enforcement
  8. Part 12 (except sections 803 and 860):
    1. Part 12: General provisions.
    2. Section 803: Provisions relating to the Environment Court.
    3. Section 860: Repeal.
  9. Schedules 1 to 7:
    1. Schedule 1: Transitional, savings, and related provisions.
    2. Schedule 2: Transitional, savings, and related provisions for upholding Treaty settlements, NHNP Act and other arrangements.
    3. Schedule 3: Principles for biodiversity offsetting and biodiversity compensation.
    4. Schedule 5: Principles for cultural heritage offsetting and cultural heritage compensation.
    5. Schedule 6: Preparation, change, and review of national planning framework.
    6. Schedule 7: Preparation, change, and review of natural and built environment plans.
  10. Parts 2 and 3 of Schedule 8 [Provisions relating to membership, support, and operations of regional planning committees]
    1. Part 2: Procedural provisions.
    2. Part 3: Hosting and support of regional planning committee.
  11. Schedules 9 to 12:
    1. Schedule 9: Water quality classes.
    2. Schedule 10: Information required in applications for resource consent.
    3. Schedule 10A: Other consenting and processes and proposal of national significance.
    4. Schedule 11: Provisions about esplanade strips and access strips.
    5. Schedule 12: Incorporation of documents by reference in plans.
  12. Schedules 14 and 15:
    1. Schedule 14: Acts that include statutory acknowledgements.
    2. Schedule 14A: Special Acts under which local authorities and other public bodies exercise functions, powers and duties.
    3. Schedule 15: Amendments to other legislation.

What does this mean for you?

The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) will cease to have effect once regional NBE Plans comes into force.

For resource consent applications that are lodged prior to an NBE plan coming into force the application will proceed under the RMA processes.

This is the same for any abatement notices, enforcement notices and or infringement notices issued prior to the issue of the NBE plan.

Want to know more?

For more updates on the NBE and SP Acts and Resource Management reform you can click here.

If you have any questions about the Reforms or implementation of the new Acts please contact our specialist Environment Planning and Natural Resources Team.

PDF version here.