Ruminations on the Problems with the Resource Management Act 1991

New Zealand Law Journal, March 2016

5 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2016

See all articles by Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC

Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

This paper comprises two articles in which the author surveys the experience in New Zealand with the Resource Management Act 1991. It covers the origins of the Act, the failure of central government over a long period to use the policy instruments available under the Act, and the lack of substantial empirical research on the performance of the Act. It then looks at efforts made to change Part 2 of the Act that erect the environmental bottom lines in the legislative scheme and political battle that resulted in the abandonment of these efforts. The recent case law from the Supreme Court of New Zealand is examined. There are sections on enforcement, local authority involvement and the place of the Environment Court. The article concludes with an account of the most recent reform developments that involve both a substantial amendment Bill in front on the New Zealand Parliament to improve the processes of the Act and an examination of urban planning by the productivity Commission. Current concerns revolve around land for housing, especially in Auckland, and the conclusion is that concentrating upon one issue in that way has dangers for other aspects of the statute.

Keywords: Resource Management, New Zealand, Environmental Law

JEL Classification: K00, K10, I18, K32

Suggested Citation

Palmer QC, Sir Geoffrey, Ruminations on the Problems with the Resource Management Act 1991 (2015). New Zealand Law Journal, March 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2758383

Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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