A massive change in RMA consenting on time

April 6th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Amy Adams announced:

The 2012/13 Resource Management Survey shows the Government’s first phase of reforms aimed at improving consenting processes are paying off, however further reform of our planning frameworks is still required.

The survey of how well councils are implementing the Resource Management Act shows that 97 per cent of consents were processed on time for the 2012/2013 period, compared with 95 per cent in 2010/2011.

“This is a vast improvement from the 69 per cent of resource consents processed on time in 2007/08,” Ms Adams says.

Only 3% are no longer processed on time, compared to 31% under Labour. The non-compliance rate by local authorities has dropped by 90%.

When National left office in 1999, the compliance rate was 82%. This dropped to 69% by 2007/08 under Labour. Since then the trend has reversed thanks to the law changes made by National and generally opposed by Labour.

22 Responses to “A massive change in RMA consenting on time”

  1. Hugh Pavletich (1,382 comments) says:

    This is bunkum David.

    Heard of re-setting the clock ?

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  2. igm (2,447 comments) says:

    Just repeal the whole damn RMA, it was another of Palmer’s socialist dreams . . . and like all the rest . . . a failure!

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  3. wiseowl (2,273 comments) says:


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  4. MT_Tinman (4,389 comments) says:

    You’ve really upset the commies this morning DPF.

    well done!

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  5. Simon (1,596 comments) says:

    Fuck off Mr. Bumble.

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  6. duggledog (2,357 comments) says:

    Geoffrey f***ing Palmer. One of the most damaging people we’ve ever had making 2 x long term decisions with terrible long term consequences, the other being the ‘spirit’ of the treaty. Also Sue Bradford’s anti smacking legislation and David Lange’s ‘Tomorrow’s Schools’ which has turned our education system into the farce it is today.

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  7. Viking2 (14,364 comments) says:

    Nope, just as obstructive as ever.
    Amy la la Land

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  8. Hugh Pavletich (1,382 comments) says:

    Do read the furore going on here in Christchurch over planning issues / recovery non-performance … note in particular the comments …




    … and Hon Amy Adams has the gall to put out that “consent performance” nonsense media release, as Environment Minister and (incredibly) Associate Minister of Earthquake Recovery !

    Oh dear … Aimless Amy.

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  9. Colville (3,120 comments) says:

    Hugh Pavletich has it spot on.

    All a Council does is “request further information” and stop the clock and there is always something they can pick on and ask you to clarify rather than just picking up the phone and asking a simple question.

    The staff Councils employ generally are there only because they have tried private enterprise and failed or are fresh out of school. (or possibly fresh off the boat from Safferland or UK)

    Press the Council too hard for your subdivision consent and they will find a way to fu*k you.

    I recently had a consent granted after 7 months of delays and then the subdivision engineer makes it a condition of consent that I remove an existing septic tank and upgrade it ($17,000 worth) despite having a ruling from Regional Council that it was ok to remain. To appeal the consent would have cost more than the new system however.
    I believe this condition was payback for me catching the engineer on camera and letting him know he was telling me porkies about when he visited site and how much time he spent there (and billed me for)

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  10. wiseowl (2,273 comments) says:

    The best thing that could happen to the RMA would be to remove all references to the Treaty and all that goes with it.
    National won’t do it.

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  11. peterwn (4,281 comments) says:

    This was a serious blunder by National in 1991. National basically ’rounded off’ the RM Bill with little or no change. It should have been returned to a Select Committee for further consideration.

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  12. freedom101 (732 comments) says:

    The two biggest problems remaining with the RMA are:

    1) Regulatory creep and ineffective s32 cost benefit analysis. Reform required: refocus the RMA on ecology. For example, the ‘cultural impact assessment’ provisions in the draft Auckland plan. Also, urban trees. In some places you need a resource consent to cut down a tree on your own urban property. This has nothing to do with ecosystems. Where is the s32 analysis? It would not be hard to come up with a list of 100 examples of ridiculous RMA regulation. The problem is that there are no boundaries due to ‘triple bottom line’ thinking (social, economic, environmental) – show me something that avoids that catch-all.

    2) The time it takes to make a plan change. Even a minor plan change takes years, and at vast expense. This is very expensive constipation and is a major restraining force on efficient government. The economic consequences are significant.

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  13. nasska (16,740 comments) says:

    The RMA as originally conceived & sold to the electorate was a reasonable bit of legislation. In a nutshell it said that you had the right to do as you wished with your own land but you couldn’t export problems across your boundaries.

    As usual with any law that requires subjective decisions the processes have been hijacked by feather bedding local body bureaucrats then manipulated by Greens & the Nimby set.

    Time to scrap the entire act & start again.

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  14. Hugh Pavletich (1,382 comments) says:

    Sadly … the RMA could most kindly be described as a “Troughers Charter” … where Councils, the politically well-connected and professionals, milk the development / construction industry … and most importantly their clients (developes / builders are simply the intermediaries) for all its worth.

    Sadly … because of the lack of basic ethics within the professions associated with the industry, the wider public interest is of no concern. To qualify as a profession, the wider public interest must always prevail. The medical profession for example has the Hippocratic Oath “Do No Harm”.

    Rather amusingly, the ethics of second-hand car dealers are of a higher standard than most of our so-called professions in New Zealand.

    Do we really need to follow the destructive and degenerate path of the British ? Read what Paul Cheshire has to say on the situation there … and weep …


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  15. Hugh Pavletich (1,382 comments) says:

    Ponder the ethics and competence of commercial property seismic assessments … as just another illustration …



    Where is the accountability ?

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  16. Hugh Pavletich (1,382 comments) says:

    The quaint term economists use for all this nonsense is “institutional failure”. We have an abundance of it in New Zealand. Read “Suffocating bureaucracies & Failed Institutions” …


    .. and Kiwipolitico “A Culture of Impunity” …


    We need to lift our game significantly. The Hicksville stuff sure gets tiring !

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  17. lolitasbrother (1,331 comments) says:

    Hugh Pavletich is right. NZ Nat have had since that poofter Simon Upton’s time 1990 to reset the clock.
    No points here Farrar. Hide your head in shame NZ Nat.

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  18. Couchpotatoe (58 comments) says:

    The emphasis on processing time by the Nats has in my view had the perverse effect of lowering the standard of decision making. Standard conditions that do not address the issues but get it out the door in case you have to give an applicant back 30 bucks, if it is a day over.

    All very paint by numbers.

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  19. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    The market forces that push developers and landowners to build “more” and “bigger” have cropped up in some of the swankiest neighborhoods in Portland. So far, neighbors who oppose the projects are finding scant legal recourse to prevent the changes.

    so much for Jamie Whyte and leave it all to nuisance laws.
    In a (so called) self-organizing system the weakest party will get rail roaded by money.

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  20. Aidy (9 comments) says:

    A largely meaningless statistic. The timeframes have been resolved by either putting applications on hold or not accepting them in the first place on the grounds they are incomplete. Its depressing that Amy Adams either fails to understand this or fails to care.

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  21. ShawnLH (14,374 comments) says:

    National should have just ditched the RMA. Useless piece of legislation.

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  22. Mark (1,611 comments) says:

    David this is smoke and mirrors and National have little to crow about in respect of the RMA. The use of resets of time by council remains prevalent. It is an unwieldy piece of legislation that was sold to us by Upton as permissive rather than prescriptive and therefore would streamline the process. Then successive governments allowed local authorities the use of discressionary planning approvals that have turned the RMA into a cluster fuck with inordinate cost implications.

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