Updated Changes to RMA on the way
Environment Minister Nick Smith has won Maori Party support for an overhaul of the Resource Management Act with what he calls a "better framework" for iwi participation.
Parliament's local government and environment committee reported back on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill yesterday, which Dr Smith touted as "the most comprehensive package of reform" to the RMA since it was implemented 25 years ago, although the announcement was lost in the fanfare surrounding Prime Minister Bill English's proposed changes to New Zealand superannuation.
The second tranche of reforms to the RMA planning legislation has faced four extensions since being sent to select committee in December 2015, eventually shoring up support from the Maori Party with new iwi consultation provisions, dubbed Mana Whakahono ā Rohe.
Quicker, faster and cheaper consents is the aim of the massive overhaul of the Act which Housing Minister Nick Smith is leading:
The 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill comprises 40 changes contained in 235 clauses and eight schedules. It makes changes to the Resource Management Act 1991, the Reserves Act 1977, the Public Works Act 1981, the Conservation Act 1987, the Environmental Protection Authority Act 2011, and the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012.
Parliament will start debating the changes next week but they still have a long way to go to become law.READ MORE
Proposed Urban Development Authorities
Urban development authorities at a glance:
Planning and resource consenting
Urban development authorities will prepare a development plan in consultation with stakeholders for the proposed project and will then consult the local community on this plan.
The Government proposes that, in appropriate cases, the development plan can override existing and proposed district or regional plans, or parts of them. This would not happen automatically, but only in circumstances where the Government believes that the public benefit of the project is sufficiently high to justify it. Examples of where a development plan might contain different requirements include where there is inefficient housing density or there are height restrictions within the project area.
Growth in Waikato
Waikato is confirmed as the highest-growth district council in the North Island according to the latest figures from Statistics NZ, and housing affordability may be part of the reason.
Positioned in the ‘golden triangle’ between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga, Waikato District Council is issuing more consents for new dwellings each year than any other North Island council apart from its closest city neighbours – Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.
Housing Accord - Hamilton City
Hamilton City Council and the Government have signed a Housing Accord today as a way to increase housing supply and improve housing affordability in Hamilton.
“We’re excited about this strong partnership between the Council and the Government. I’m pleased to be working so closely with them to achieve great outcomes for our city,” says Mayor King.
Hamilton has grown faster than predicted in the past two years. In the next five years Hamilton’s population is estimated to continue growing from 161,000 in 2016 to 177,000 in 2021.
By the end of 2016, it’s estimated the Council will approve 1271 building consents for new residential dwellings. The Accord outlines targets for the number of dwelling and section consents issued in Hamilton for the next three years; 1300 for 2017, 1400 for 2018 and 1500 for 2019.
The next stage in this process is for the Council to create a policy going into further practical details related to identifying key areas in the city known as Special Housing Areas.
The Accord will work in conjunction with other strategic planning documents including the National PolicyREAD MORE