Resource Management (Temporary Consents) Amendment Bill

Project discussion: Make temporary resource consents temporary

Resource Management (Temporary Consents) Amendment Bill

Member's Bill

Explanatory Note

Section 107 (2) of the Resource Management Act 1991 allows consent authorities to grant resource consents allowing the discharge of contaminants into water such as lakes, rivers, or the ocean, provided that there are exceptional circumstances, the discharge is temporary, or it is associated with necessary maintenance work. In granting such a consent, the consent authority may impose conditions requiring the consent holder to undertake work so that they will be able to meet the ordinary requirements of the RMA. However, in some cases this clause has been used to grant consents for ongoing pollution of waterways with no requirement to make even incremental improvements to reduce such pollution in the future.

This bill would rectify the situation in two ways: firstly, by requiring consent authorities to grant such temporary permits for the shortest time reasonable in the circumstances, with an upper limit of four years; and secondly by requiring them to impose conditions leading to a reduction in pollution.

Resource Management (Temporary Consents) Amendment Bill

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

1. Title
This Act is the Resource Management (Temporary Consents) Amendment Act 2009.

2. Commencement
This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it received the Royal Assent.

3. Purpose
The purpose of this Act is to protect New Zealand's environment by setting a maximum time limit for temporary discharge and coastal permits granted under s107 of the Resource Management Act.

4. Principal Act Amended
This Act amends the Resource Management Act 1991.

5. Section 107 Amended
(1) Section 107 is amended by inserting the following subsection after subsection (2):

(2A) A discharge permit or coastal permit granted under subsection (2) shall be issued for the shortest term reasonable in the circumstances, and in any case no longer than four years.

(2) Section 107 (3) is amended by omitting "may" and substituting "must".

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