Auckland Mayor Phil Goff established a 'Housing Taskforce' to identify constraints to building more homes in Auckland at a pace which keeps up with demand and make recommendations to overcome those barriers. The Taskforce released its report in June.
After several years of drafting, consulting and redrafting, the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 received royal assent in April. It makes a number of significant amendments to the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) This includes changes to iwi participation arrangements with the introduction of a new Subpart 2 to Part 5 of the RMA. This subpart allows broad scope for iwi involvement in resource management matters. Sections 58L to 58U deal with iwi participation arrangements under a new name – Mana Whakahono a Rohe.
It appears widely accepted that changes are needed to address housing supply, rising house prices and a growing population. In answer to these concerns, the Government is considering new legislation that would:
- Empower nationally or locally significant urban development projects to access more enabling development powers and land use rules; and
- Establish new urban development authorities to support these projects where required.
The Government has recently added a criterion for accessing the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund, requiring the decision maker to consider the likely impacts on "important needs" such as employment, infrastructure and housing.
Wide-sweeping reforms to the RMA are on the horizon, with the Local Government and Environment Select Committee having recently reported on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. Click through to read our summary of the Bill's key provisions.
Finance Minister Steven Joyce recently suggested that “targeted rates” may be imposed on new housing projects in the future, in order to help fund residential infrastructure.
The High Court’s recent decision in R J Davidson Family Trust v Marlborough District Council makes it clear that a key finding of the Supreme Court in King Salmon – that there is generally no ability to consider Part 2 of the RMA and undertake an “overall broad judgment” – also applies to decisions on resource consents.
The Government is seeking feedback on its Clean Water Package 2017, which introduces new "swimmable" water quality targets.
Where (and how prominently) can alcohol be displayed in a supermarket? The Court of Appeal has recently considered the provisions in the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 which require the display of alcohol within a “single area” in supermarkets.
More than three years after the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan was notified, we are now into the business-end of the process, with the Plan now operative in part.