National Policy Statement on Urban Development

National Policy Statement on Urban Development: one of four public consultations opened this month

The month of August has seen a flurry of activity coming from the Ministry for the Environment, with its proposed National Policy Statement (NPS) on Urban Development being released hot on the heels of the proposed NPS for Highly Productive Land. These proposals come alongside work the Government is undertaking in relation to further national direction on the NPS for Freshwater Management and new National Environmental Standards for Freshwater Management, expected to be released in September.

NPSs on Urban Development and Highly Productive Soil

The NPS on Urban Development proposes a process for encouraging development whereby cities have room to grow “upwards” and “outwards” through decision-making based on strong, interconnected planning and evidence that aligns with a Council’s long-term planning goals. A key goal for growth under the proposed NPS is that growth unfolds in a way that creates quality urban environments that will provide for the current population as well as the changing amenity values that may arise for future generations.

The Government invites submitters to let them know the type of city they want to live in, and submissions are open from today until 10 October 2019. The NPS for Highly Productive Land seeks to utilise productive land for primary production and protect it from subdivision, use and development, and submissions close on the same date.

Discussion documents on waste minimisation and hazardous substances

The Government has also released a consultation documents regarding waste as well as hazardous substances assessments.

The consultation on waste is concerned with reducing harm from items that damage the environment (i.e. plastic) by placing more accountability (and costs) on product designers and producers rather than the environment and individuals. It proposes moving towards creating a circular economy in New Zealand whereby we move from a take-make-dispose economy to a make-use-return economy. Submissions can be made until 4 October.

The hazardous substances consultation seeks to approve and set controls on hazardous substances so that we can still benefit from their use while better managing potential risks to people and the environment. Submissions close 30 September.


Submissions on the NPS for Urban Development: https://submissions.mfe.govt.nz/consultations/planning-for-successful-cities/make-a-submission

Submissions on the NPS for Highly Productive Land: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/consultations/proposed-national-policy-statement-for-highly-productive-land/

Submissions on proposed guidelines for waste minimisation: https://submissions.mfe.govt.nz/consultations/proposed-priority-products-and-priority-product-stewardship-scheme-guidelines/make-a-submission

Submissions on hazardous substances assessments: https://submissions.mfe.govt.nz/consultations/hazardous-substances-assessments-improving-decision-making-proposed-improvements-to-assessments-and-reassessments-of-hazardous-substances/make-a-submission

Kate is a law clerk working in Holland Beckett Law’s Environment and Resource Management team. She is based in the Tauranga office.