We’re reaching out to advise you that today the Government opened consultation on proposals to strengthen Government direction for consenting renewable electricity infrastructure under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). We are proposing updates to national direction for renewable electricity generation and electricity transmission for consistency with Aotearoa New Zealand’s emissions reduction targets and support the pace of development required to decarbonise the economy.
Renewable electricity generation is an essential part of the Government’s climate response. Our proposals aim to provide clear direction that meeting our international emissions reduction commitments will require a significant expansion of renewable electricity generation.
We recognise the need to provide greater clarity to RMA decision-makers on consenting renewable electricity infrastructure, particularly in relation to valued landscapes and indigenous biodiversity. The consultation proposes options on how environmental impacts should be balanced against the immediate need for renewable electricity through nationally consistent consenting pathways.
These proposals are being progressed separately to resource management reform. The reformed resource management system will better reflect the strategic importance of renewable electricity generation in decision-making.
In September and October 2022, as part of targeted engagement, we engaged with some iwi, Māori and others to help develop the proposals. The proposals, which seek primarily to enable more wind and solar generation, include a requirement to consider Māori interests as part of the consenting process for renewable electricity generation and electricity transmission. We’re also proposing to support tangata whenua to develop small and community-scale generation. While the general policy direction applies to all forms of renewable electricity generation, there is no specific policy direction proposed for new or existing hydro generation.
We invite you to participate in this consultation by making a submission or joining us at an online hui in the coming weeks. Submissions will be open until 1 June, 2023. After this, we will analyse all submissions received before developing recommendations to the Minister of Energy and Resources and the Minister for the Environment.
For more information on what is being proposed or to have your say, visit the MBIE website: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/renewable-electricity/
You can register for a Zoom hui with MBIE and MfE on Tuesday 9 May, Wednesday 10 May, or Thursday 11 May at 1-2pm using this link:
We are also available for individual online hui, as well as kanohi ki te kanohi meetings during the consultation period.
Please get in touch with the team at ElectricityRMA@mbie.govt.nz if you have any questions.
Nāku noa, nā
Director, Building, Resources and Markets, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Director, Urban and Infrastructure Policy, Ministry for the Environment