What is a 'Streamlined Plan Change Process'?
One of the recent amendments to the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) was the inclusion of provisions to enable the use of a streamlined plan change process.
The streamlined plan change process enables the Minister of the Environment to approve a shortened plan change process in a limited range of circumstances – this includes:
- Plan changes that are implementing a national direction e.g. the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity; and/or
- Plan changes that are being used to meet a significant community need.
The Minister for the Environment approved the use of the streamlined plan change process for the Pukehangi Heights Plan Change on the basis that it will allow urban growth issues to be responded to in a timely way, and is proportionate to the complexity and significance of the planning issue.
The plan change steps approved by the Minister for this plan change are set out here. The Gazette Notice is available here. This includes the timeframes that need to be met and also includes the Ministers Statement of Expectations.
An important difference between the streamlined plan change process and the standard plan change process is that the decision cannot be appealled to the Environment Court. It is therefore critical that anyone interested in the plan change gets involved by making a submission.
The Ministry for the Environment has more information on the Streamlined Plan Change Process.