Weekly column by Kāpiti's Greater Wellington Regional Council representative Penny Gaylor.

I suspect my current read won't make it on to the Whitcoulls Top 100 books list, nevertheless, I shall soldier on through the 531 page blockbuster "New Directions for Resource Management in New Zealand".

The subtitle 'Report of the Resource Management Review Panel June 2020', provides an insight in to genre of this epic read.

Chapters 1 to 16 provide as much suspense and drama as any great classic. Nah, just joking. But it is certainly a tale of changes that could be of epic scale and impact.


Yes there is plenty of reading ahead of me, after two terms on KCDC and now in my second term on GWRC, I know that there is be huge appetite for improvements to the 30-year-old RMA legislation.

In the meantime I've skipped to page 462 to the "Summary of the report and key recommendations", to give us a quick summary of what is being proposed.

The current RMA Act would be repealed and replaced by two pieces of legislation; the first, Natural an Built Environments Act (NBEA).

Intended to be 'significantly different from the RMA', it would aim to 'establish more enduring solutions and bring to an end the series of ad how interventions that have been an undesirable feature of legislation change to date'.

The second would be the Strategic Planning Act, aimed at setting long-term strategic goals and facilitating integration of legislative functions across the resource management system.

Under this act, spatial planning would come to the fore, with the intention that spatial strategies would be developed at a regional level encompassing land and coastal marine areas.

The report also promotes the idea of a third piece of legislation which is of particular interest and significance for our region and the Kāpiti Coast.

An effort to address the effects of climate change has resulted in the proposed Managed Retreat and Climate Change Adaptation Act.


The report explains: "This would establish an adaptation fund to enable central and local government to support necessary steps to address the effects of climate change and would also deal with the any complex legal and technical issues involved in the process of managed retreat" (reference page 465).

The ending sounds pretty good, I might go back and read the other 16 chapters after all.