Saunders, W.S.A.; Beban, J.S. 2012 Putting R(isk) in the RMA : Technical Advisory Group recommendations on the Resource Management Act 1991 and implications for natural hazards planning. Lower Hutt: GNS Science. GNS Science miscellaneous series 48 52 p.
Abstract: In October 2011, the Minister for the Environment established a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to undertake a comprehensive review of sections 6 (matters of national importance which must be recognised and provided for) and 7 (other matters which require particular regard by decision makers) of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). As part of the terms of reference for this review, the TAG was requested to give “[g]reater attention to managing issues of natural hazards noting the RMA issues arising from the recent Canterbury earthquakes” (TAG, 2012, 15). On 5 July 2012, the TAG report was publicly released. Within the TAG report there is a variety of suggested changes to ss. 6 and 7 of the RMA. In response, this GNS Science report will focus on the implications of the TAG recommendations on the management of natural hazards through the RMA. While it is recognised that there are other recommendations for ss. 6 and 7 of the RMA pertaining to the urban environment and natural character considerations, the implications of these are not discussed within this report. This report begins by exploring the current legislative framework that governs the management of natural hazards in New Zealand. A discussion on how avoidance, mitigation, and risk reduction are reconciled under the RMA follows, along with the different likelihoods of various natural hazards. The TAG recommendations and their implications for councils and future development are presented and discussed. The research programmes at GNS Science that have the potential to assist councils with the TAG recommendations are then outlined. Finally, a summary of recommended actions for future consideration is presented. (auth)