Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn

  • Hon David Parker

Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy. 

Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact on almost every part of our economy for some time.  

”Many New Zealanders have lost their jobs, or may do so in coming months, and many businesses are doing it hard. 

“These are extraordinary times that need extraordinary solutions. We need to support New Zealanders through this crisis, and position our economy for recovery.  

“That is why I directed my officials on March 18 to develop options around how resource consenting processes for certain infrastructure and development projects can be fast tracked once we are in the recovery phase from COVID 19,” David Parker said. 

That complements the move by Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones to establish a group of industry leaders to identify infrastructure projects that are ”shovel-ready” – or would be soon – once the construction industry returns to normal. 

“My goal is to help create a pipeline of projects, some that can start immediately restrictions are lifted, so people can get back into work as fast as possible. Also, I want to give certainty to investors and for developments as our economy recovers,” David Parker said.  

“The Resource Management Act (RMA) is the primary legislation that manages our built and natural and environment, but in these extraordinary times we do not want the standard RMA consenting processes to constrain the pace of recovery. 

“Rather we want to incentivise investment in projects that will provide employment, especially for those made jobless due to COVID-19.  

“It is likely Cabinet will make decisions before the end of the lock down period. In the coming weeks I will announce the details for how we will improve the speed and certainty of consenting and what projects are under consideration,” David Parker said.