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National Policy Statements (NPS)


NPS deals with

  • nationally significant matters that are relevant to the purpose of the RMA;

  • issues that affect more than one region;

  • any global or national environmental obligations; and

  • any effects on nationally significant structures, place, area or feature.


Steps to be followed by the Minister for the Environment

  • Invite comments from iwi, organisations or persons before proposing.

  • Prepare NPS on the basis of the evaluation report under s32 of the RMA.

  • Consider NESs, other NPSs, regional policy statements, regional and district plans.

  • Appoint Board of Inquiry to process the proposed NPS.

  • Publicly notify the proposed NPS and consider submissions.

  • Minister can withdraw part or full NPS before the approval by giving public notice.

  • Minister will receive recommendations from the Board of Inquiry.

  • Minister will consider the recommendations, prepare any evaluation reports under s32 of the RMA, make any changes or withdrawals (by publicly notifying).

  • Make final recommendations to the Governor General and once approved notify the NPS.


Steps followed by the Councils

  • If directed by the NPS, councils must amend policy statements and plans without following Schedule 1 of the RMA as soon as practicable or within the specified timeframe.

  • If not directed by the NPS but the NPS provisions affect any plans or policy statements councils must change plans or policy statements by following Schedule 1 process under the RMA.

Development of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS) is similar to the NPS but administered by the Minister of Conservation. NZCPS is mandatory under the RMA.

Examples of the NPSs: