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Resource Management Act 1991 (No. 69 of 1991).

Type of law
Date of original text

This Act consists of 16 Parts divided into 434 sections, and contains 12 Schedules. The purpose of this Act is to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources.
The main parts are entitled as follows: Interpretation and application (1); Purpose and principles (2); Duties and restrictions under this Act (3); Functions, powers and duties of central and local government (4); Environmental Protection Authority (4A); Standards, policy statements and plans (5); Resource consents (6); Proposals of national significance (6A); Aquaculture moratorium (6AA); Coastal tendering (7); Occupation of coastal marine area (7A); Designations and heritage orders (8); Water conservation orders (9); Freshwater farm plans (9A); Effect of nitrogenous fertiliser on freshwater quality and freshwater ecosystems (9B); Subdivision and reclamations (10); Environment Court (11); Act not to be used to oppose trade competitors (11A); Declarations, enforcement and ancillary powers (12); Enforcement functions of EPA (12A); Miscellaneous provisions (14); Transitional provisions (15).
Part 3 deals with restrictions on the use and subdivision of land, on the use of coastal marine areas, on aquaculture activities in coastal marine areas, on certain uses of beds of lakes and rivers, relating to water, on the discharge of contaminants into the environment, and on dumping and incineration of waste in coastal marine areas unless expressly allowed by a national environmental standard, a rule in a regional plan or a resource consent. It shall be prohibited to on discharge of harmful substances from ships discharge radioactive waste in coastal marine areas.
Part 4 defines functions, powers and duties of the Minister for the Environment and of local authorities.
The Act provides for the establishment of the Environmental Protection Authority and defines its composition and functions (Part 4A).
Part 5 provides for the: prescription of national environmental standards; preparation of national policy statements and New Zealand coastal policy statements to state objectives and policies for matters of national significance that are relevant to the purpose of the Act; preparation, implementation and administration of regional and district plans; etc.
The Act provides the Minister with specific powers in relation to applications for resource consents, applications for change to or cancellation of resource consent conditions, local authority plan changes or variations, requests for plan changes and for the preparation of regional plans, and notices of requirement that are or a part of a proposal of national significance.
The Act further provides for: coastal tendering; aquaculture management areas and occupation of coastal marine areas; establishment of the Environment Court and its composition and functions and duties; etc.
Long title of text
An Act to restate and reform the law relating to the use of land, air, and water.
Date of consolidation/reprint
Last amendments up to Ng ti Maru (Taranaki) Claims Settlement Act 2022 (2022 No 9). Version as at 31 March 2022.
Source language


Legislation status
in force
Legislation Amendment
Implemented by