RMA procedures for managing conflict

Proposed plans, plan changes, and notified resource consent applications often provoke conflict on how development and its adverse environmental effects should be managed. The RMA sets out statutory procedures for managing this conflict.

  • Members of the public can make submissions supporting or opposing proposed plans, plan changes, and resource consent applications.
  • Submitters can speak about their submission at a public hearing. Submitters, plan developers, and resource consent applicants can all present evidence to support their case. The hearing is usually before the council but applications may also be heard by independent commissioner(s), the Environment Court, or a Board of Inquiry.
  • After the hearing a final decision is made on the application.  If there is further disagreement, the matter is referred to the Environment Court (unless the Court was the initial decision-maker). With the exception of disagreements on points of law from the Environment Court decision, all the parties involved have to accept the final decision. To find out more, see the Ministry for the Environment Guides “Resolving Resource Management Act concerns” and “Your Guide to the Environment Court”.