Alternative dispute resolution methods can be used throughout the formal RMA process. They enable parties to reach full or partial settlement at different stages of plan development and resource consent processes. The methods are:
- Consultation leading to negotiation for resource consents and designations (Schedule 4). Note, however, that there is no duty to consult (refer s36A)
- Pre-hearing meetings and mediation for resource consents (s.99 and s99A)
- Consultation leading to negotiation in the preparation of a policy statement or plan (Schedule 1)
- The use of mediation to resolve disputes in the preparation of a policy statement or plan (Schedule 1)
- The use of mediation or conciliation by the Environment Court to encourage settlement (s268)
- Arbitration (s356).