OraTaiao recognise and agree that the Resource Management Act (RMA) is in urgent need of renewal, modification and updating. Our natural and built environment is a significant factor in the development of non-communicable diseases in Aotearoa, and with these responsible for 89% of all deaths in Aotearoa and for an estimated 7,000 premature deaths of New Zealanders between the ages of 30 and 70 in 2012. It similarly influences our climate change emissions via transport choices, energy use and farming. Planning for climate change adaptation is now inevitable, and this will be an essential component of all three Acts which will replace the RMA, not just the Climate Adaptation Act.
We have three overarching points to make in our feedback
- Overall, the Exposure Draft of Natural and Built Environments Bill is encouraging and a significant improvement on the existing RMA.
- We recommend that the specific consideration of health and wellbeing (as distinct from wellbeing alone) be incorporated in the Exposure Draft. There is insufficient focus on the impacts of the natural and built environment on health.
- We recommend that the role of te ao Māori be strengthened and centralised within the Bill. At present the Exposure Draft merely gives “greater recognition” to te ao Māori.
These points will be further expanded on below in our feedback on the Reform Objectives, Blueprint for Reform, and the Exposure Draft itself.
 Bullen C et al. (2015) ‘Targets and actions for non-communicable disease prevention and control in New Zealand’. NZMJ. 128: pp 55-60.
Read the full submission here