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In this edition:
  • The NPS on Urban Development Capacity comes in to effect on 1 December 2016.  What does it all mean? 
  • National/Maori Party policy deal means the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill is back on the table, subject to undisclosed changes.
  • Auckland Unitary Plan - now operative in part (large part).  That means new projects are likely to have a smoother path to consent.
National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity - Councils required to release land fast
The National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity ("NPS") comes in to effect on 1 December 2016.  You can view the NPS here.  

The NPS forms part of a suite of measures intended to drive the release of more land for urban development - primarily for housing.  Among other things, the NPS requires Councils to provide feasible development capacity in the short, medium and long terms.  

The NPS provides a clear signal of central government's expectation that Councils are proactive in identifying, zoning and servicing sufficient development capacity to meet demand, and that a robust evidence base exists for the measures implemented by them.

If you would like to understand more fully how the NPS operates, and what the implications are for your business or property, please contact us.
Resource Legislation Amendment Bill - National/Maori Party deal means progress is to be made after long delay
The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 ("Bill") is another of the National Party's proposed measures to boost urban development, which predated the NPS discussed above.  The Bill in its most recent form can be viewed here.  

The Bill has been sitting idle for some time, as the Government was unable to garner sufficient support in Parliament.  The most substantive changes proposed in the Bill are to the RMA, and involve centralisation of some RMA decision making processes, and a general reduction in the degree of public participation in RMA processes.  

The Bill was reported back "pro forma" to Parliament, and has now been re-referred back to Select Committee.  It currently appears that we should see an amended form of the Bill early in 2017.  You can read Minister Smith's press release, where he confirms that the Select Committee has a major task ahead to refine the drafting of the Bill and ensure it is consistent with the National/Maori Party agreed policy.  

Please contact us if you would like to discuss the specific implications for you of the Bill.
Auckland Unitary Plan Operative In Part - operative status means easier consent processes 
From 15 November, much of the Auckland Unitary Plan became "operative", meaning that replaced provisions of the legacy district plans no longer apply.  This will be of particular interest to landowners and businesses where the new Unitary Plan provides a simpler and more permissive regime (which is the intent of much of the Unitary Plan).  

The Council has produces an annotated version of its plan, to assist interested professionals and members of the public to understand what is operative and what is not.  The annotated version of the plan can be viewed here.  

It will not always be clear whether legacy plan provisions are no longer operating, despite the operative status of relevant provisions of the Unitary Plan.  We are available to assist with interpretation of the partly operative Unitary Plan, and any discussions with the Council regarding the implications of it, should we be required.
Established in 1986, Ellis Gould is one of New Zealand’s leading specialist commercial property and resource management law firms.

Our lawyers offer far more than just knowledge of resource management law – we offer valuable strategic advice to help you best achieve your desired outcomes.
Come visit us at our office. 
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