Resource Management Act: RMA Link: Government and Local Government Agencies

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.

Government and Local Government Agencies

Hosted by:

Wellington Community Network

Government Agencies

Key Agencies

Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment have key roles in resource management.

Ministry for the Environment

Roles and Functions
The Ministry for the Environment is responsible for administering a number of environmental statutes, including the RMA. The Ministry is responsible for ensuring that the RMA is being implemented effectively. It carries out the following functions:

  • Provides policy advice to Government on issues and options relating to the RMA and its implementation.

  • Carries out social, scientific and technical research, to inform the development and implementation of policy. An extensive range of reports on all aspects of resource management policy are available
    through the Ministry's website. Paper copies of many of these are available on request.

  • Provides 'best practice' guidance to regional and local government on how the Act should be implemented and monitored. Works with regional and local government to improve practice.

  • Produces national planning documents under the Act - National Policy Statements and National Environmental Standards.

  • Manages the policy and consultation process when the RMA is being amended.
  • Has responsibility for other national level processes - call-ins and water conservation orders.

  • Monitors the state of the environment, and monitors regional and local government functions under the RMA.
Location: Head office in Wellington. Small offices in Auckland and Christchurch.


Department of Conservation

Roles and Functions
The Department of Conservation manages the conservation estate on behalf of New Zealanders. This includes national parks, conservation parks, reserves, protected indigenous forests and inland waters, marine reserves. It carries out the following RMA functions:

  • A key function under the Conservation Act is to advocate for the conservation of biodiversity, natural habitats and indigenous species outside of the conservation estate. DOC takes an active part in RMA processes nationwide to achieve this function.

  • Prepares and monitors the NZ Coastal Policy Statement. Approves regional coastal plans, and issues permits for restricted coastal activities.

  • Researches and monitors ecosystems and species - data is available for use in RMA planning and decisionmaking.

  • Manages protected wildlife and populations of threatened species - terrestrial, freshwater and marine.

  • Takes active role in conservation partnerships and multi-agency approaches to protecting biodiversity. Works to engage the community in conservation, in voluntary and non-regulatory processes.

  • Works together with tangata whenua in protection of Maori cultural and spiritual values.

Location: Head office in Wellington, 3 regional offices in Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch, 13 conservancy offices.


Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

Roles and Functions
The PCE's primary objective is to contribute to maintaining and improving the quality of the environment. It does this by providing independent advice to Parliament, other government departments, local government, tangata whenua, communities and business.

PCE Reports
The PCE carries out investigations that review the capability, performance and effectiveness of legislation, policies and processes used to manage the environment. A number of major reports are prepared each year. Most of these are relevant to the RMA. Details of reports can be found on the PCE website. Reports are available free online.

Investigation of Citizens Concerns
To improve public authority accountability, the PCE may investigate the environmental performance of any public agency. Members of the public, or concerned citizen groups, can ask the PCE to investigate situations where the environment has been adversely affected, or they consider there has been some irregularity in the way a situation has been dealt with.

Such investigations are known as 'Citizens Concerns'. These can include concerns over the way a local or regional authority has dealt with an RMA matter. A number of requests relating to the RMA are received each year. More information on citizens concerns can be found on the PCE website, in the Commissioner's Annual Reports, or obtained from the Office under an official Information request.

Location: The PCE has one office, located in Wellington.