What Monitoring is Required?

Resource Management Act

For the purposes of sustainable management of natural and physical resources

Local Government Act 2002

For the purposes of sustainable development

Reviewing

Statements, regional and district plans must be reviewed at least every 10 years ( s.79 RMA ). The Minister for the Environment can direct a council to review a policy statement or plan, in full or in part. The Minister of Conservation can direct a council to review a regional coastal plan, in full or in part.

Long Term Plans cover 10 financial years ( s.93(7)(a) LGA ).

Long Term Plans must be reviewed every 3 years ( s.93(3) LGA ).

Monitoring

Under s.35 a local authority must monitor:

· The state of the whole or part of the environment (appropriate to functions under the Resource Management Act).

· The efficiency and effectiveness of policies, rules or other methods in its policy statement or plan.

· The exercise of any functions, powers or duties delegated or transferred by it.

  • The exercise of any resource consents.

· In the case of a regional council, the exercise of any protected customary activity

· A Long Term Plan must describe the activities of the local authority, and describe community outcomes (s.93(6)).

Reporting

Reporting is required ( s.35(2A) ) every five years in relation to policy and plan efficiency and effectiveness.

Under s.28A , regional councils may be requested by the Minister of Conservation to provide monitoring information on their coastal permits or regional coastal plans or the exercise of any protected customary right or other agreement in the common marine and coastal area within 20 days. Reporting timeframes for any other monitoring requirements set out above may be imposed in regulations under the Act.

Each Long Term Plan (ie, every 3 years) must contain a report from the Auditor General on the extent to which the local authority has complied with the requirements of the Act, and on the quality of information and assumptions ( s.94(1) ).

 

 

Section 28A of the Resource Management Act enables the Minister of Conservation to require regional councils to provide monitoring information on their coastal permits regional coastal plans or the exercise of any protected customary right. Councils must provide this information within 20 working days, unless a longer timeframe has been set by the Minister of Conservation.

Section 35 of the Resource Management Act specifies the duty to gather information, monitor and keep records (in relation to the functions in the table above) and to take appropriate action when monitoring indicates this is necessary.

Section 62(1)(j) requires that a regional policy statement must state… the procedures used to monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of the policies or methods contained in the statement.

Section 67(2)(e) and 75(2)(e), provides that a regional plan and a district plan respectively may state... the procedures for monitoring the efficiency and effectiveness of the policies and methods in the plan.

Section 79 of the Resource Management Act requires councils to commence a review of any provision of a regional policy statements, and all regional and or district plans that has not been reviewed or altered in the preceding 10 years, to be reviewed not later than 10 years after becoming operative. Councils can choose how to review their plans and do not need to review them in their entirety after the plan becomes operative. However, the relevant Minister can direct a council to review a policy statement or plan, in full or in part (section 25B).

Section 80 of the Resource Management Act provides for two or more councils to prepare combined policy statements or plans. Collaborative reporting by councils would be pertinent in these instances.

Section 360(1)(hk) enables regulations to be made that prescribe indicators, standards, and methods for monitoring. Regulations under section 360(hl) may prescribe time limits for councils to provide information to the Minister, and (hm) may prescribe threshold amounts.

The Local Government Act 2002 requires local authorities to produce a Long Term Plan that outlines community outcomes and provides a basis for accountability from the local authority to the community. A Long Term Plan must cover a period of 10 consecutive financial years ( s.93(6)). In the Long Term Plan, councils are required to describe community outcomes, and the Auditor General must report on how that requirement has been met once every three years. To demonstrate that Long Term Plan requirements have been effectively achieved, it would be useful for councils to monitor and report in a similar way to the monitoring requirements of the Resource Management Act. This suggests the need for coordinated, integrated and focused planning and monitoring.