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Time for leadership, not yet more reform (21 April 2017) (New Zealand)

Buddle Findlay

In 2015 the Productivity Commission began an inquiry into New Zealand's urban planning system. The Commission released its report titled Better Urban Planning on 29 March 2017.

The Commission's report criticised the functioning of the current system, focusing largely on perceived problems with the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The Commission discussed the RMA's "ambiguous and broad language", which in its view has led to overly restrictive rules, a failure to give due regard to urban issues and the built environment, and unclear priorities for the natural environment. The Commission's recommendations included an overhaul of the RMA to favour integrated planning that recognises and provides for the different regulatory requirements of, respectively, the natural and built environments.

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