Government Bill suspends RMA barriers to recovery work

Severe Weather Emergency Legislation Bill is designed to expedite work required for immediate remediation of Gabrielle impacts.


  Added 12 months ago

Government Bill suspends RMA barriers to recovery work

The Government has introduced the Severe Weather Emergency Legislation Bill, designed to simplify and expedite work required for immediate remediation of Cyclone Gabrielle impacts by relaxing or deferring certain RMA planning and regulatory requirements.

The Bill applies to councils, network utility operators, lifeline utilities as well as individual farmers, growers and landowners.

Here is a brief excerpt on provisions for rural landowners from a summary prepared by law firm Wynn Williams.

“The Bill would also provide targeted help to rural landowners and occupiers, empowering rural landowners and occupiers to undertake preventative or remedial activities to mitigate loss, injury or damage, without a resource consent. These works are deemed to be permitted activities under the RMA, meaning no subsequent retrospective consent would be required. The only caveat is if the activity is prohibited under relevant district or regional plans, national environmental standards, or regulations, it remains prohibited.

“Anyone who uses the new powers to undertake works must give notice to the local authority within 60 working days of undertaking the activity. If written notice is not given to the council, the activity loses its 'permitted' status, and landowners could face enforcement action.

“This pathway is only available to rural landowners up to 1 October 2023. After that date resource consent will once again be required for activities that breach the local authority plan rules. That said, some conversation has already risen from impacted communities around the need to extend the timeframe to allow for the ground to dry out.

“Furthermore, the Bill expressly prevents any person other than the relevant local authority taking enforcement action against rural landowners that use the Bill’s powers. This prevents neighbours or environmental groups from complaining about works that are carried out as a permitted activity including where they might be noisy or generate adverse effects on the environment.”

Here's a link to the Wynn Williams summary.


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