Resource Management Reform

The future of the Tasman Environment Plan – Aorere ki uta Aorere ki tai

We are getting lots of questions about what will happen to the Tasman Environment Plan (TEP) now the Government has introduced new legislation that will require Tasman and Nelson to produce a single plan.

In short:

  • The TEP won't be developed as a separate plan
  • There will be a combined Tasman/Nelson plan under the new legislation
  • The work on the TEP so far won't be lost, it will be used for the new plan
  • The Land and Freshwater parts of the plan are still being progressed, see From the Mountains to the Sea for more detail
  • We are working with Nelson and local iwi to plan for how and when we will move to the new system the legislation creates
  • We should have a clear way forward by mid-2023

  • Late last year the Government introduced two new pieces of legislation that are part of a package of reforms that will replace the Resource Management Act (RMA), in total there will be three new acts that will replace the RMA:

  • Spatial Planning Act (SPA)
  • Natural and Built Environment Act (NBEA)
  • Managed Retreat and Climate Change Adaption Act (CAA)

  • The new legislation introduces a number of changes to the way plans are developed and decided on. The biggest change is reducing the number of plans in NZ from around 80 plans to 15. Currently each district and city council has its own plan and then the regional council also has its own plan. This will change so there is only one plan per region.

    Tasman is a unitary council so it's existing plan, the Tasman Resource Management Plan already combines the district and regional council responsibilities. However, the new legislation will require Tasman and Nelson to produce a single plan, with a greater role for iwi. Importantly, the work on the TEP so far and the valuable contributions from everyone that has provided feedback won't be lost, it will be used for the new plan.

    Before we can start on a new plan, we will be required to develop a new Regional Spatial Strategy across Nelson/Tasman. The strategy will build on, and replace, the current Nelson Tasman Future Development Strategy.

    We are currently working through how and when we might move to the new system that will replace the current RMA led system. We estimate it will be a minimum of ten years before a new plan can be notified given the requirement to complete the regional spatial strategy first. In the interim, the current Tasman Resource Management Plan and Nelson Resource Management Plan will continue to have legal effect, again for at least 10 years.

    There are a lot of things to consider before we make a decision on when and how to move from the current planning system to the new system, and what changes might be needed to the existing plan in the meantime. We hope to have worked through all the issues and challenges and have a clearer way forward by mid 2023.

    The council is currently working on a new resource management plan, which covers a range of topics that will directly affect our environment as well as you as a resident or ratepayer of the Tasman region.

    The last public engagement round finished at the end of 2022, and we are busy working on all the feedback that you gave us.

    To get all the latest news and find out when we want more feedback, sign up for updates using the form towards the bottom of the right-hand sidebar.

    Tasman Environment Plan Webinar #4 December 2022

    A further discussion document covering topics such as natural hazards, biodiversity, air, open spaces and more about freshwater management will be released for feedback mid-2023. If you want to have your say on these topics, you can subscribe to get updates by filling in the form on this page.

    What is Tasman Environment Plan?

    Tasman is a special place to live. At Tasman District Council, we're working with communities on a new resource management plan that will help keep it special for generations to come. We're calling this plan Aorere ki uta, Aorere ki tai - Tasman Environment Plan.

    The Tasman Environment Plan will replace our existing resource management plans, the Tasman Regional Policy Statement and the Tasman Resource Management Plan.

    In late 2020, locals shared their experiences and views on the district’s environmental and development issues and opportunities through this website and 21 community-based events. Thank you to everyone who took part in this first round of engagement. Our policy planners have processed your feedback and have been defining and investigating issues and options, gathering relevant technical information, and working with landowners on mapping that supports the plan. You can read feedback we've received and more about specific projects here.

    • News

      Read the latest from the process to create the Tasman Environment Plan and related planning activity.

      Learn more 
    • Plan Themes

      Learn what the Aorere ki uta, Aorere ki tai - Tasman Environment Plan covers.

      Learn more 
    • Geological Hazards Mapping

      Get more information around Council's slope instability hazards review and associated mapping, a review of active earthquake faults within our district, and district-wide seismic liquefaction hazard mapping.

      Learn more 
    • Reimagining Richmond South

      This project is to shape Richmond South as a place where more people can live, work, and spend time.

      Learn more 

    RMA reform and the Tasman Environment Plan

    Following a review commissioned in 2019, the Government decided to repeal and replace the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The RMA is New Zealand's principal legislation for environmental management and provides the framework under which our local resource management plans are developed. The RMA will be replaced with three new Acts; the Natural and Built Environments Act, the Strategic Planning Act, and the Climate Change Adaption Act.

    The new laws will aim to improve the natural environment, enable more development within environmental limits, provide an effective role for Māori, and improve housing supply and affordability. The changes also seek to reduce and simplify planning processes, time, and costs. Council’s Environmental Policy Team are actively working through what the new legislation will mean for us here in Tasman.

    In October the Minister for the Environment informed us that under the new legislation Tasman and Nelson Councils will be required to develop joint plans. This will mean one Regional Spatial Strategy and one Resource Management Plan covering the Nelson Tasman region. NCC and TDC already produce a joint Future Development Strategy which will morph into a Regional Spatial Strategy under the new legislation. The big challenge will be to combine our resource management plans.


    Tasman’s environmental issues, the community’s issues, remain the same regardless of the laws that apply. The research and analysis we have completed, which informs our three Tasman Environment Plan Discussion Documents, is aligned to outcomes sought by the new Acts. A new plan, whether Tasman or Tasman/Nelson focused will need to address local issues, focus on positive outcomes for the natural and built environments and identify where we need to better enable or more strictly control certain activities. It is important we spend time and resources on understanding the issues and opportunities that are important to our iwi partners and communities.