Advocacy Round-up

Today, the Government will be undertaking its first reading of the Fast-Track Approvals Bill.

Property Council has been a supporter of fast-track consenting legislation since it was first introduced as part of the response to COVID-19. It saw many projects get the green light to proceed, reducing red tape, consenting timeframes and project costs.

Key aspects of the Fast-Track Approvals Bill include:  

  • A one-stop shop approvals regime, meaning approvals can be required under multiple pieces of legislation e.g. RMA Conservation Act, Hertiage Act.  
  • Ministers will decide whether to grant or decline approvals, based on expert panels recommendations.  
  • A purpose focused on facilitating projects with significant regional or national benefits

There are two ways a project can access the fast track consent process:  

  • Track 1: Projects will be listed under Schedule 2A. The design of a process for people to nominate projects for inclusion in the legislation either to be automatically referred to the Expert Panel, or for referral by Ministers is underway. This will be announced in the coming weeks.  
  • Track 2: By applying to Ministers to access the fast-track process

Next steps: We will be working with our Resource Management Taskforce to develop our submission for the upcoming select committee process. If you are interested in joining and/or providing feedback, please contact Sandamali: sandamali@propertynz.co.nz  

The Government Policy Statement on Transport (“GPS”) was released earlier this week. This saw the return of Roads of National Significance programme, which was introduced by the previous National Government in 2009.

The GPS focuses on four strategic priorities:

  1. Economic Growth and Productivity
  2. Increased Maintenance and Resilience
  3. Safety
  4. Value for Money.

The GPS reforms will see a 30-year plan for transport infrastructure and amend the Land Transport Management Act to require future Government Policy Statements on transport to adopt a 10-year investment plan. It also seeks to ensure fast fast-tracking of consents for major transport projects by aligning with the government fast-track consenting legislation. We are pleased to see a coordinated approach between planning and transport and will also be making a submission on the GPS and the Fast-Track Approvals Bill.

Consultation closes on 2 April 2024. If you are interested in joining and/or providing feedback, please contact Katherine@propertynz.co.nz.

On 28 February, consultation opened on Auckland Council’s Long-Term Plan. This will help set Auckland’s future direction for the next 10 years and outline Council’s priorities including infrastructure, how much it costs, and where the money might come from.

Property Council is currently reviewing the proposed Long-term Plan and will be shortly preparing our submission. We are interested in hearing from Auckland based members. To get involved with this workstream, please contact Logan Rainey for further information.

Last week, Property Council was pleased to have to meet with Hon. Brooke van Velden, Minister of Internal Affairs, to discuss our industry’s perspective on reforming Fire and Emergency funding. There are currently deep inequities within the current funding arrangements. Ultimately, the commercial property sector funds 59% of the fire service, despite the majority of Fire and Emergency call outs being wider than ‘fire related’ (i.e. medical responses).

We are currently advocating to the government on the vital need to reform Fire and Emergency funding to create a durable, equitable and sustainable fire service. One key plank of our work is requesting an increase to the residential insurance cap of $100,000, in order to restore a greater degree of fairness and equity to the funding arrangements.

To get involved with this workstream, please contact Logan Rainey for further information.

Public notice has been given from Hamilton City Council, that the Hearings Panels has issued a decision removing selected Historic Heritage Areas from Plan Change 9. This is on the basis that the assessment of the areas only meet the threshold of moderate and are no longer being pursued by Council.

The areas are:

i. Augusta, Casper and Roseburg Streets
ii. Casey Avenue
iii. Hooker Avenue
iv. Jennifer Place
v. Lamont, Freemont, and Egmont Streets
vi. Oxford Street (East) and Marshall Street
vii. Seifert Street
viii. Springfield Crescent
ix. Sunnyhills Avenue

This outcome aligns with Property Council’s previous submissions on this topic. For further information, please contact Logan Rainey.

Hon Chris Bishop, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for RMA Reform, has advised Christchurch City Council that the Government will consider pausing the implementation of Medium-Denisty Residential Standards (MDRS) components of Plan Change 14 (PC14), but that they still expect the remainder of the plan change to complete implementation of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD). Minister Bishop is yet to advise the Council on the new deadline for the MDRS component of PC14.

Property Council submitted on Plan Change 14 last year. To read our submission, please click here.

Author | Katherine Wilson

As Property Council’s Head of Advocacy, Katherine is tasked with leading our advocacy campaigns at both a regional and national level.

Level-headed and engaging, Katherine has both a law degree from Otago University and an arts degree (majoring in politics) from Auckland University. With solid experience as a policy analyst and advisor in Wellington and Auckland, she has extensive networks and solid analytical skills.

Katherine is hugely dedicated, highly intelligent and committed to ensuring the voice of our members is heard at all levels of governance. She’s also relentlessly positive and enjoys a good chat.

katherine@propertynz.co.nz

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