Regulations under the RMA are made by the Governor General with the advice and the consent of the Executive Council under s43 and s360 of the Act.
Under s43 of the Act regulations are made to introduce National Environmental Standards. Standards can be prescribed for
- Contaminant levels;
- Water flows/levels;
- Water, soil and air quality;
- Noise level and;
- Monitoring methods/requirements.
Standards can also prescribe to prohibit (e.g. burning of tyres) or allow certain activities, review consent conditions and specify consenting requirements including notification. A rule in a plan can be more stringent than the standard provided it is expected by the standards. A rule cannot be more lenient than a standard.
Under s360 of the Act regulations can be made on the following matters but not limited to:
- Prescribing forms, fees and procedures for a range activities including abatement and infringement notices, consents process and Environment Court hearings etc.
- Prescribing offences under the Act and setting infringement fees not exceeding $1000.
- Prescribing fees for the consent holders who occupy common coastal marine area or crown river/lake beds, for the extraction of sand/shingle from crown land and the use of geothermal energy.
- Prescribing the consent holders to the nature, information and timing of the furnishing of the records (an example of this is the water meter requirement for the water permit holders, i.e., Resource Management (Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes) Regulations 2010).
- Requiring to provide discount on process charges on consent applications not processed within the timeframe (an example of this is the consent fee discounting regulations which is the Resource Management (Discount on Administrative Charges) Regulations 2010).
- Prescribing indicators, standards of monitoring, content and timeframe within which to be reported for state of the environment monitoring for regional and district councils.
- Amending provisions of aquaculture activities within the regional coastal plan.