12 September 2023

Ahatia ngā whiunga ā-āhuarangi he iwi manawaroa tātou 
E ngā maunga e tū tonu rā, e ngā awa e rere rā, e ngā moana a papaki mai rā, tēnā koutou. Maringi noa ngā roimata mō ngā aitua, haere ki te okioikingā o te tangata. Tātou e noho moke nei tēnā tātou katoa.


Throughout May, June, and July 2023 the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) hosted hui with Māori regarding kaupapa seeking to better support whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori with recovery from severe weather events, including the management of natural hazards risks.

These hui included pre-engagement with whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori on the proposed National Policy Statement for Natural Hazards Decision Making. This pānui provides an update on this kaupapa and related work, with a summary of key initiatives attached.

Te Kaupapa Here – Ngā Mōrearea ā-Taiao – Natural Hazards policy recap

Last month the Natural and Built Environment Act (NBA) and the Spatial Planning Acts (SPA) were passed into law.  These laws are expected to help address issues with natural hazard management.

However, during the 7–10-year transitional period, the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) planning and consenting practices will continue.

Ministers have asked MfE to look at ways the resource management system might better manage risks from natural hazards during this transitional period. MfE is looking at a phased approach to address this.

Te mahi tuatahi – Phase 1

The first phase will be the proposed National Policy Statement (NPS) on Natural Hazard Decision-Making under the RMA. The NPS on Natural Hazard Decision-Making would direct decision makers to avoid development in areas facing high natural hazard risk that creates intolerable risk to life, property, and infrastructure. The NPS will be developed and implemented within six to nine months and would cover developments including:

  • residential dwellings, potentially including papakāinga
  • commercial buildings
  • education and health facilities
  • community facilities, potentially including marae.

Ministers have directed the Ministry to carry out public consultation on the proposed NPS. The public consultation will run from 18th September to 13th November 2023. You will be able to access the draft NPS and explanatory material on the Ministry for the Environment’s website from 18th September.

MfE invites Māori to online hui to hear your thoughts on these proposals, with the following hui scheduled:

We will have note takers available at the hui and, with your permission, feedback that you provide can be entered into the submissions process.

Please contact naturalhazardRMA@mfe.govt.nz if you would like to request an alternate option to the above.

Te mahi tuarua – Phase 2

The second phase will be the development and implementation of a National Direction for Natural Hazards.  This will be comprehensive national direction that would ensure local authorities identify and address natural hazard risk in a consistent and rigorous way and would underpin good decision-making about future land use and adaptation. This National Direction will be developed and implemented within 1 – 2 years and then be transitioned into the National Planning Framework as part of the resource management reform.

More detail on this proposal will be provided as part of the consultation on the phase 1 NPS.

Ngā mihi nui,

Liz Moncrieff
Director Severe Weather Integrated Response
Ministry for the Environment | Manatū Mō Te Taiao