Business groups have applauded Government confirmation that the Resource Management Act wil be scrapped this term.
But they warn that the really difficult work defining new rules is still to be done and should not be rushed.
The following pieces of legislation will replace the RMA.
One — the Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA) — is the primary replacement for the RMA and will focus on land use and environmental regulation.
There will also be two wholly new acts created — the Strategic Planning Act (SPA), to deal with laws around development, and the Climate Change Adaptation Act (CAA), to focus on the long-term climate goals.
It was good to see the recognition that the RMA was no longer fit for purpose, said Employers and Manufacturers Association head of advocacy and strategy Alan McDonald.
"That's what we've been saying for years. It wasn't achieving its goals and most importantly it wasn't achieving its environmental goal."
It had also become a handbrake on development with a degree of uncertainty for those applying for consent, he said.
"There was no guarantee when you went in to a process that you'd come out the other end. You might not get any consent let alone the number of conditions attached."
McDonald said the RMA had created an opportunity cost for the country.
"We're aware of a number of people who just didn't bother developing anything because it was too hard.
"So it's good to see it repealed and hopefully fixed."
The EMA was supportive of the "two Act" approach, with one of the environmental and one for the planning side, McDonald said.
"But we have some concerns in what we've seen...in that the lines between the two seem a bit blurred. But having that draft out for consultation will uncover a lot of those sorts of issues," he said.
It was also appropriate to bring in the Climate Adaptation Act, he said.
McDonald said he was hopeful that process would be done with cross-party support.
"Because the whole process is too important get wrong again. There's a risk of reinventing same wheel," he said. "We can't get caught afford to get caught again lagging on infrastructure."
On that basis the time-line the Government had suggested was ambitious, he said.
"While we would like it done quickly, we also really want it don well. If we sacrifice a bit of speed to get it right, then that's a better outcome."
BusinessNZ economist John Pask agreed that the process could not be rushed.
The Government had heavily taken on board the recommendations of last year's Randerson Report, he said.
And that had some really good perspectives: re-orientating things to focus on specified outcomes and limits, a reduced number of plans, more streamlined consenting processes.
"I guess though, the devil will be very much be in the detail," he said.
There were some difficult decisions be made around the balance between certainty at a national level and local flexibility still to be worked through, he said.
"And that's quite a fundamental thing," Pask said.
But the "exposed draft" process was a good one and should hopefully allow specific issues to be worked through and people to "air their differences" in a structured manner in advance of the introduction of new legislation.
"One of the dangers is that, given the complexity, we don't want to end up with a mess, you are better off taking it a bit more slowly and get right to the extent that's possible," he said.
"Have the arguments in advance...because once you put in the new legislation things are ultimately going to go through the courts."
April 21: Further policy decisions for the exposure draft and consultation material are developed.
May 2021: Cabinet approves final exposure draft of the NBA and consultation material and presents it to House.
May-September 2021: Exposure draft referred to special select committee inquiry.
June-December 2021: Cabinet considers remaining policy decisions.
December 2021: NBA introduced into the House and then follows standard legislative process.