Resource Management Act: RMA Link: RMA Information Database

The RMAlink project aims to make community participation in all Resource Management Act processes more straightforward and less time-consuming. More effective participation from those with a concern for the environment will contribute towards improving environmental outcomes nationwide.

RMA Information Database

Hosted by:

Wellington Community Network

RMA Publications

Books and Periodicals

The publications in this section provide general information on participating in the RMA, and will be of use to groups and individuals making submissions.

Author: Peart, Raewyn (2004)
Title: The Community Guide to the Resource Management Act 1991
Publisher: Environmental Defence Society, Auckland ISBN 0-476-00383-0
Description: 150 page general guide to all aspects of the RMA. This handbook aims to assist individuals and public interest groups to participate in RMA processes as advocates for the environment. Contains simple explanations of the roles of the various agencies (central, regional and local government), explanation of planning documents - plans and policy statements, detailed description of RMA processes resource consent applications, policy statement and plan reviews, Environment Court appeals, and more. Contains advice on making submissions (including how to present your submission in the accepted format), and information on several key resource management issues. It incorporates the 2003 amendments to the Act.
Available: Environmental Defence Society, PO Box 95152, Swanson, Auckland 1008. Price $22.50 Material in this book is also available online at

Author: Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. (2003)
Title: Breaking Down the Barriers: A Guide to the Resource Management Act 1991.
Description: This 57 page book explains RMA planning documents and processes. It is aimed at environmental groups and submitters, and provides advice on making submissions on resource consents and plans, presenting your submission at hearings, and other types of action that may be taken. It includes relevant parts of the RMA, and copies of forms that are the accepted format for submissions.
Available: Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand (Inc), PO Box 631, Wellington. Price: koha. The material in this publication is also available free online at

Author:Ministry for the Environment (2003)
Title: The Resource Management Act and You: Getting in on the Act. ME386 ISBN 0-478-24017-1
Description: 21 page booklet that provides a basic introduction to resource consents and plans. Distributed free of charge.
Available: Try your local council or Citizens Advice Bureau. Your library may have a copy. Order from Ministry for the Environment, PO Box 10362, Wellington. Available free online at

Author: Ministry for the Environment (1999)
Title: Your Guide to the Resource Management Act (Draft). ME 305 ISBN 0-478-09053-6
Description: 70 page book. Aims to convey a basic explanation of the Act to resource consent applicants, submitters, and all those with an interest in RMA processes. Contains sections on getting involved in resource management decision-making and taking action to protect the environment, both of which are directed at people acting as environmental advocates. It does not contain information on 2003 amendments, but is still a useful reference.
Available: Out of print. Your local library may have a copy. 2004 update available online only, no printed copies produced, at

Author:Harris, R. (ed)(2004)
Title: Handbook of Environmental Law.
Publisher: Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc, Wellington. ISBN 0-9597851-8-3
Description: This 608 page reference book is a comprehensive guide to New Zealands environmental law. Contains a wealth of information on the RMA, and how its provisions relate to a large range of environmental topics and land use activities. Explains the various RMA processes, and policy / planning documents. Includes relevant case law. Each chapter includes practical advice on how to be involved, especially in resource consents and plan and policy statement reviews. Aimed at those who wish to protect the environment through participation in RMA and other processes. A good, all-purpose reference to the RMA.
Available: Bookshops, price approx. $79.00.

Author:Williams, D. A. R. (ed)(1997)
Title: Environmental and Resource Management Law in New Zealand, 2nd Edition.
Publisher: Butterworths, Wellington. ISBN 0-409-79014-1
Description: 694 page reference book on all aspects of environmental law in New Zealand. Chapters on a range of resource management topics, covers many statutes apart from the RMA. Caters for a general audience, not aimed specifically at those with a concern for the environment. Some parts are now out of date, but it is still a very useful guide.
Available: Your library may have a copy.

Author: Preston, S.(1998)
Title: Resource Management in New Zealand
Publisher: Christchurch Community Law Centre. ISBN 0-473 056607
Description: Five booklets

  • Resource Management Act 1991: Plans and Policy Statements
  • Resource Management Act 1991: The Resource Consent Process
  • Land Use Legislation and the Resource Management Act 1991
  • Conservation Legislation and the Resource Management Act
  • Resource Management Act 1991 and Other Natural Resource Legislation.

These booklets are a good place to start if you want a simple, plain-English explanation of the RMA, its policy and planning documents, its processes, and how it relates to other legislation.
Available: Your public library or CAB will probably have these. Purchase for $10.00 from Christchurch Community Law Centre, PO Box 2912, Christchurch.

Author: Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. (1995)
Title: Stopping the Bulldozers Before They Start: The Forest and Bird Guide to Resource Management Plans.
Publisher: Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc., Wellington. ISBN 09597785140
Description: 91 page book, gives background information about purpose and principles of the Act, and resource consents, plans, and the plan/policy statement review process. Gives advice on how to make submissions on plans, and what to ask for. Sections on landscape planning and protection, terrestrial habitat protection, wetlands, riparian management, and coastal management. Written primarily for Forest and Bird branch members and staff, to help them participate effectively. A very useful reference if you are submitting on a plan or policy statement review.
Available: Out of print. Try your library.

Author: Young, Denise (1993)
Title: Having Your Say: ECO Guidelines for Community Input into Regional Policy Statements, and Regional and District Plans.
Publisher: Environmental and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand Inc.
Description: 39 page book, designed to help people write submissions to regional and local councils on plans and policy statements. Brief discussion on purpose and principles of the RMA, roles of regional and local authorities, and annual plans (Local Government Act). Deals with a range of topic areas, with a brief checklist of basic provisions for each. A useful guide on what to look for when reading through a proposed plan.
Available: Out of print. Try your library.

Title: Resource Management
Publisher: Brookers, Wellington.
Description: Annotated Resource Management Act, with supplementary material in 3 ring-bound volumes. Updated regularly.
Volume 1: Annotated RMA. Complete text of the RMA, all sections accompanied by explanatory notes, notes on interpretation, and relevant case law.
Volume 1A: Index to Vols 1 and 1A, searchable by topic/keyword. All Resource Management Regulations, including Forms. An introduction / overview of the Act. Explanatory texts on interpreting Part II, the enforcement regime, the water management regime, and Treaty of Waitangi and Maori issues.
Volume 2: Appendices. The NZ Coastal Policy Statement. Explanatory texts on the coastal management regime, coastal tendering process, and marine pollution controls. Flowcharts for some RMA processes.
Available: Larger public libraries. University and tertiary institution libraries, law libraries. Community Law Centres may have a copy.
The Annotated RMA is available online to paying subscribers, as the Brookers electronic database. Students enrolled at tertiary institutions may have access to this through their library. Ask if you can use Brookers, or a similar database, at your Community Law Centre.


Title:Resource Management Bulletin
Publisher: Butterworths, Wellington ISSN 1353-775x
Description: 8 issues per year. Contains articles and analysis on key legal and policy issues associated with the RMA. Summaries of some significant Environment Court cases, and subsequent appeals.
Available: Some public libraries. University libraries, Law Society libraries.
Subscriptions: Lexis Nexis Butterworths, PO Box 472, Wellington.

Title: Brookers Resource Management Gazette
Publisher: Brookers, Wellington
Description: Weekly. Provides an update on the latest developments in environmental and resource management law. It summarises every Environment Court decision, and other relevant case law from the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal. It also reports on relevant issues and events from a wide range of media sources, including newspapers, magazines, journals and government reports. It covers relevant government media releases
Available: Some public libraries, university libraries, Law Society libraries.
Subscriptions: Brookers, PO Box 43, Wellington.

Title: NZ Journal of Environmental Law
Publisher: University of Auckland, Faculty of Law
Description: One issue per year. Contains academic papers on environmental management, policy and legal issues, including the RMA. Some case notes, legislation notes and book reviews. Full text of all articles available free online from website.
Subscriptions: $60 per year. Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland.

Title: Planning Quarterly
Publisher: AGM Publishing, for NZPI. ISSN 0111-9435
Description: Contains articles on a range of planning topics and current RMA issues. Directed at institute members and other planning professionals. Contains 'business card' directory of planning professionals.
Available: Try your public library.
Subscriptions: $45 per year. AGM Publishing, Private Bag 99915, Newmarket, Auckland. Email:

Title: Resource Management Journal
Publisher: Resource Management Law Association of New Zealand Inc.
Description: 3 issues per year. Provides up-to-date articles on resource management issues, mainly written by members. Directed at members, to keep them advised of current law and practice on all aspects of resource management. Full text available free online at RMLA website.
Subscriptions: Resource Management Law Association of New Zealand Inc., c/- 4 Shaw Way, Hillsborough, Auckland.