Policy Point: Fast-Track Approvals Bill

13 March, 2024

On 7 March 2024, the Coalition Government introduced a Fast-Track Approvals Bill. Its purpose is to ‘provide a streamlined decision-making process to facilitate the delivery of infrastructure and development projects with significant regional or national benefits’.1

The Bill is a key aspect of the Government’s programme for Resource Management Act (RMA) Reform.2 It is part of the National and New Zealand First coalition agreement and a key component of the Government’s 100-Day Plan.

Fast-tracking of favoured projects by Ministers has downsides and risks. On the other hand, problems with the RMA mean consenting major projects takes far too long and costs far too much. The status quo is undesirable.

Changes could be made to improve the Bill, mitigating its downsides.

Ultimately, resource management legislation should enable the development of infrastructure and other projects, while respecting the property rights of landowners. That would reduce the need for a fast-track approvals regime.

1 Fast-Track Approvals Bill, Explanatory Note

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