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EDS releases first working paper in Phase 2 of its Resource Management Reform project

09 May 2019

EDS has released its first working paper as part of Phase 2 of its Resource Management Law Reform Project. The project is taking a first-principles look at how New Zealand’s resource management system could be improved.

Phase 1 of the project outlined three potential models for what a future system could look like. Phase 2 is now looking at designing a single preferred model.

“We think it was really important to pause at this point and develop an overall guide to help us decide which choices should make up a preferred future system,” said Senior Researcher Dr Greg Severinsen.

“So, this working paper looks at criteria for reform, and concludes by offering three alternative sets of criteria that could be applied: a “progressive” set, a “transformational” set, and a “market-led” set. It does not yet select one of them – this is a task for the next stage of the work.

“Looking at common criteria focuses everyone’s initial energy on the primary question of why we are making reforms, not what they should be,” said EDS Policy Director, Raewyn Peart.

“They make the reasoning behind specific choices more transparent. Criteria don’t spit out easy answers, but they do provide an anchor for debate and an envelope of choices within which a preferred model could sit.

“It’s important not to rush prematurely to an outcome without this work being done. Mistakes have been made in the past and we are working very carefully and logically to design an overall resource management system that will work for the next 30 years,” said Ms Peart.

Phase 2 of the project will culminate at the end of the year with the release of a final paper, which will describe a preferred model and a pathway to implementation over time.

The project is being supported by the New Zealand Law Foundation, the Borrin Foundation, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern), Property Council New Zealand, and Infrastructure New Zealand.

For more information on the project, and to download the synthesis report and working papers, see RM Reform Project.