On 5 April 2019 the Minister for the Environment and the Minister of Conservation released the first set of National Planning Standards.
National Planning Standards are intended to improve consistency in RMA plan and policy statement structure, format, and content. The first set of standards addresses a range of matters, including providing nationally consistent:
- Noise and vibration metrics
- Electronic functionality and accessibility.
Most standards are mandatory, requiring local authorities to amend their planning documents to be consistent with the standards without going through the usual RMA first schedule submission and hearing process.
Different implementation timeframes apply to different standards and different local authorities. However, if a council undertakes a full plan review within the specified timeframes, the new plan must meet the standards when notified for submissions.