Submission: Resource Management (Freshwater and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

27 June, 2024

1.1 This submission on the Resource Management (Freshwater and Other Matters) Amendment Bill is made by The New Zealand Initiative (the Initiative), a Wellington-based think tank supported primarily by major New Zealand businesses. In combination, our members employ more than 150,000 people.

1.2 The Initiative undertakes research that contributes to developing sound public policies in New Zealand. We advocate for the creation of a competitive, open and dynamic economy and a free, prosperous, fair and cohesive society.

1.3 The Initiative’s members span the breadth of the New Zealand economy; a well-functioning and efficient approvals regime for infrastructure and development projects is important to them. The views expressed in this submission are those of the author rather than the New Zealand Initiative’s members.

1.4 In summary, we submit:

(a) The Resource Management Act (RMA) and associated regulations are a handbrake on economic growth and development;

(b) The Resource Management (Freshwater and Other Matters) Amendment Bill is a necessary interim step to restore balance and streamline processes. It should proceed;

(c) The ultimate goal should be an RMA that makes it much easier for beneficial projects to proceed. It should allow businesses and individuals to go about their day-to-day activities efficiently. It should balance these objectives with respect for property rights while protecting important environmental values; and

(d) A new resource management system should include greater use of economic instruments, where practicable.

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