How does this affect you when you buy or sell a motel? It is really important to understand the RMA as it can have an effect on what you want to do with a property you may purchase. Can a motel be built on this land? Does this land have existing use rights for the current motel? Is this land zoned for a motel? I am selling are the people purchasing my motel able to do what they want to develop it further? Are there any restrictions to my motel?
I have been a bit notable by my absence in the realm of blogging lately and it is due to the fact that I have been doing some further training. I am a real advocate of upskilling and gaining as much knowledge as possible so that when I deal with people who wish to buy a motel or those who have a motel for sale then I can give them the best possible service and advice. After all that’s what being a professional broker is all about.
Anyway to get to the point our latest topic was the Resource Management Act which although complicated was really good to learn about. It has always been a bit hazy before now and one of those areas which I tried to steer clear of if I could. I really enjoyed the course and learnt so much I decided that the RMA is a really important topic and would be good to talk about here on my blog and share the information. The actual topic is huge and would take pages and pages to explain so I thought, like many other bloggers, I would do a series of blogs with my topic being The Resource Management Act 1991(RMA).
The first blog will explain why we have the act and how it is setup as a workable framework.
The intentions and structure of the act are reasonably clear and well defined
Firstly the intent of the act. Why do we need it? Under section 5 of the act it states the purpose which is
· (1) The purpose of this Act is to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources.
(2) In this Act, sustainable management means managing the use, development, and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, which enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural wellbeing and for their health and safety while—
o (a) Sustaining the potential of natural and physical resources (excluding minerals) to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations; and
o (b) Safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil, and ecosystems; and
o (c) Avoiding, remedying, or mitigating any adverse effects of activities on the environment.
The purpose is fairly self explanatory and my feeling is that the purpose and intent are definitely good values which we should all strive towards.
In order to maintain and implement this act we have to have a framework to support it which spans both central and local government and helps to regulate the requirements within the act designed to achieve the purpose.
At the top of the framework is the act itself. The Resource Management Act 1991 which sets the standards and regulations for the environment.
From this act the framework generates NZ policies being specifically The NZ Coastal Policy Statement and the National Policy Statement. The Minister of Conservation and the Minister of the Environment respectively are responsible for preparing and reviewing the policy statements which basically say what we will do to protect and preserve our environment but not how we will do it.
The framework then reaches out to the various regions who create their own policy statements which say what they will do to protect and preserve the environment within their own region but once again not how they will do it. These Regional Policy Statements must be aligned with the national statements and can not contain any policies in conflict with those in the National Policy or NZ Coastal Policy Statements..
From the Regional Policy Statements we need a “how to do it” document and this is where the regional and district plans come in to effect. The regional Coastal Plan and Regional Plan are prepared by the regional council and document the rules and regulations which must be adhered to in order for an activity to be permitted or to require consent. Thus ensuring the activity is in alignment with the policy statements. The activities or land use requests which involve air and water are covered under these two plans. The district or city council prepares the district plan which covers land use requests for land activities. Once again this plan documents the rules and regulations which must be adhered to in order for an activity to be permitted or to require consent in order to align with the policy statements. There are some land use requests which involve both land and water (e.g.: A factory with a water discharge) and these requests require consent under both the regional and district plans.
If the activity is not a permitted activity under either the regional or district plan then resource consent will need to be applied for from the relevant council.
This is a brief description of the purpose and organisation structure of the RMA. When looking at any land use it must always comply with Section 5 or the purpose of the act. Once this has been looked at the principles of the act must be applied. This however is the next topic.
Other sources: www.mfe.govt.nz/rma