Reimagining the RMA: EDS Resource Management Reform Report
Environmental Defence Society (EDS) has released its Reform of the Resource Management System: The Next Generation Synthesis Report.
The Report discusses the development of the resource management system, current challenges facing New Zealand, and potential paths for reform.
The Report follows Phase 1 of the EDS Resource Management Reform Project. The Reform Project aims to assess how the entire resource management system can be improved, taking a holistic approach based on the principles of resource management. This involves considering why we need resource management in the first place, and the role a formal system should play in New Zealand, instead of jumping to the desired outcomes. The Report discusses the difficulties of assessing a system that defines an issue by the outcome it seeks, instead breaking the system down into four ‘themes’: norms, functions, structures, and tools. These themes are then applied across all areas of management to assess the role of the system.
The Report also considers the role of public authorities in the system, and the level of intervention these authorities have in achieving outcomes. EDS suggest a balance between public responsibility and private freedom may be achieved through a number of system features, including setting environmental bottom lines, managing trade-offs above these bottom lines, providing infrastructure and public goods, and resolving disputes.
The Report assesses the design of the resource management system from a variety of perspectives. Three models are proposed to demonstrate how the principles-based analysis can be applied. These models vary in structure, with one retaining the Resource Management Act as a central piece of legislation, and the other models dividing legislation and shifting responsibility in new structures.
The final phase of the Project will further develop a preferred model for resource management. This report is expected to be released late-2019.
Want to know more?
For further information on the Report see the EDS website.
Please contact our specialist resource management team if you have any questions about the Report and what this might mean for you.