Mandatory Directives

Abatement notices, enforcement orders and water shortage directions

This guidance note is the third of seven guidance notes that make up the RMA Enforcement Manual. Mandatory directives under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) direct the recipient to cease or take action. Failure to comply with a mandatory directive is an offence under the RMA.

Mandatory directives include abatement notices, enforcement orders (including interim enforcement orders), water shortage directions and excessive noise directions. The Managing Noise through Enforcement guidance note provides more information on excessive noise directions.

Abatement notices are frequently effective to urgently remedy a situation, particularly when prosecution follows any non-compliance. However, sometimes the sanction and protection of a Court order is desirable, especially in cases involving litigious or obstinate offenders. In this case an interim enforcement order is likely to be more effective.

Before using a mandatory directive, a local authority should usually conduct an investigation and provide an opportunity to the persons involved to explain the situation and offer a voluntary solution.