The National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity (NPS-UDC) has put the cat among the environmental pigeons in New Zealand. It requires local authorities to ensure there is sufficient housing and business land development capacity to meet demand.
Even though the preamble states “this national policy statement does not anticipate development occurring with disregard to its effect” it leaves it up to councils to figure out how to meet demand for growth in their area while also meeting other national objectives, including the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement.
Councils now have three different pathways they can take when developing plans and plan changes (fast track, the standard First Schedule process, and collaborative). It will be interesting to see how many councils choose the new collaborative approach.
The 'OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: New Zealand 2017' recognises the value of collaborative processes for securing support for reforms, raising awareness about water risks and costs, and increasing users' willingness to pay and to handle conflicts. However, the report (from pages 191-192) also states:
“… there are concerns that the New Zealand collaborative governance approach in some cases may minimise, or at least delay, change for the following reasons:
The OECD report on New Zealand's environmental performance refers to our existing biodiversity strategy and action plan (which I was unaware of). Here's a link to it - http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/biodiversity/nz-biodiversity-strategy-and-action-plan/
These are the posts I have shared on social media, all in one place for easy access.