New guidelines released today by Environment Minister David Parker are intended to assist councils in their monitoring, compliance and enforcement duties under the Resource Management Act.
"Enforcement of the rule of law will always be essential to encourage broader compliance. This is true in criminal, transport, taxation or environmental law," David Parker said.
"Without robust compliance, monitoring and enforcement (CME) practice, RMA plan rules and consent conditions are too often ignored. Voluntary compliance by the majority can be undermined by the minority who do not comply.
"Though the RMA allows for a tailored and localised approach to CME, there are models and principles of best practice that can be adapted to suit local circumstances. The purpose of these guidelines is to clarify what best practice looks like by providing guidance and support for frontline staff through standard tools and templates."
National Monitoring System data shows that 14 per cent of resource consents monitored by all councils in 2015/16 were non-compliant. This figure was 20 per cent for regional councils.
The Ministry for the Environment is establishing a new unit to oversee compliance with the Resource Management Act and to improve consistency across councils.
Operating funding of $3.1 million over four years was allocated for the unit in this year’s Budget.
The guidelines are available at: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/best-practice-guidelines-compliance-monitoring-and-enforcement-under-resource