Focus on Resource Management Law
An accessible introduction to resource management law in New Zealand Focus on Resource Management Law explains the main statutory provisions and includes summaries of leading cases in the area. The title also prepares students for examinations by including practice exam questions and answers, and suggestions for further reading.
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Most legal practitioners need some working knowledge of the Resource Management Act (RMA) and as a result RMA has become a major subject within Law Faculties. However, it is a complex and dense subject and students often struggle, particularly as most RMA courses are condensed into a single semester.
Focus on Resource Management Law provides a straightforward introduction to resource management law. It explains the main statutory provisions; includes summaries of the leading cases, suggestions for further reading and prepares students for exams by including practice exam questions and answers.
Table of contents
Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION
• State of environment and main environmental challenges
• Historical development of RMA and significant changes brought about by enactment of RMA, reflecting international law developments
• Overview of RMA
• Scope of RMA
• General functioning of RMA
• Regulatory framework: main role of RMA and other environmental legislation
Chapter 2: DECISION MAKING AND RELEVANT INSTITUTIONS
• Processes and institutions
• Central government: Minister, Ministry for Environment, EPA, PCE
• Councils: territorial, regional, unitary
• Environment Court
• Special Tribunals, call in process and Boards of Inquiry
• Processes: statutory time frames, costs, ADR, mediation etc
Chapter 3: PURPOSE AND PRINCIPLES of RMA
• Introduction: explanation of “purpose and principles approach” to legislation; advantages and disadvantages of this approach.
• Specific explanation of sustainable management purpose and principles contained in Part 2
• Government proposed RMA reforms Stage 2 (TAG Report)
Chapter 4: DUTIES AND RESTRICTIONS
• What is made legal or illegal pursuant to the statute
• Differing presumptions in relation to land-use; sub-division; coastal area; rivers and lake-beds; water; discharges
• Noise provisions
• General duty to avoid adverse effects, RMA s17
Chapter 5: GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS AND THE PLANNING PROCESSES
• Introduction: de-centralized approach to decision making; advantages and disadvantages of this approach
• Central government bodies and agencies
• Local government structure
• Functions of central government and local authorities pursuant to the RMA and plan making powers
• Hierarchy of plans
• Present National Policy Statements and National Environmental Standards
• Structure and composition of local authority plans: objectives, methods, rules, classification of activities
• Plan making processes
• Resolving conflict between planning instruments
• Specific issues: Auckland – unitary and spatial planning; Christchurch – ECAN water allocation and earthquake legislation
• Water – LWF
Chapter 6: RESOURCE CONSENTS
• Notification of resource consent applications
• Considering resource consent applications, RMA s 104
• Conditions on resource consents
• Allocation of resources between competing applicants for resource consents
• Characteristics of resource consents and the legal nature of resource consents
Chapter 7: SPECIAL PLANNING PROCESSES AND EXCEPTIONS (INCLUDING PUBLIC WORKS, DESIGNATIONS, HERITAGE ORDERS, WATER CONSERVATION ORDERS AND EXISTING USES)
• Role of public works, designations, heritage orders in the statutory scheme
• Legal criteria and effects of public works, designations, heritage orders
• Canterbury case study; earthquake legislation
• Role of water conservation orders in the statutory scheme
• Legal criteria and effects of water conservation orders
• The exception for Canterbury
• Role of existing uses in the statutory scheme
• Legal criteria and effects of existing-use certificates
Chapter 8: COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
• Mechanisms to secure compliance
• Administrative, civil and criminal enforcement provisions