Property Council submission on the Fast-track Approvals Bill

On 28 March 2024, Property Council submitted on the Fast-track Approvals Bill.

Why this matters to our members

Property Council’s purpose is: Together, shaping cities where communities thrive. Thriving communities and regions have access to housing, employment, education, health, transport, retail and community facilities. Many of these places and spaces are designed, developed and managed by our members. It is therefore important that we have efficient processes in place, to ensure reduced red tape for development across New Zealand.

Our view

While Property Council broadly supports the Bill, we are concerned that there are provisions within the Bill that may be counterintuitive to its intent. We have made suggestions that we believe will help ensure that the fast-track process lives up to its name.

We made the following recommendations:

  • Amend the joint Minsters’ decision-making process to be more explicit on how they either form an agreement or disagreement;
  • Amend Part 2, Subpart 2, Clause 22 – joint Ministers must agree to refer a decision to an expert panel within 30 working days of receiving an application;
  • Amend Part 2, Subpart 2, Clause 25 – joint Ministers must decide whether to approve a project referred by the expert panel within three months, with the ability to extend for one extra month if required;
  • Extend the lapse date for granted consents from two years to five years;
  • Amend the Bill to allow for applicants to show whether they would prefer a hearing (if possible). This could be achieved via a simple tick box exercise when applying for a fast-track approval;
  • The Bill should include a sunset clause, given that when a full review and replacement of the RMA is undertaken, this Bill may become redundant;
  • Amend the Cabinet Fee Framework to reflect market rate remuneration for expert panel members; and
  • Amend Clauses 10 and 14 to allow for rezoning and plan changes.
Read the full submission.

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