The RMA Quality Planning Resource

When processing a new notice of requirement, calling for existing designations to be rolled over, or including a new requirement in a proposed plan, councils should act and be treated like any other requiring authority, and should receive and provide the same standard of communication and co-operation.

As a requiring authority, the territorial authority needs to carefully consider whether the use of a designation is preferred, given the costs and benefits, against other available planning mechanisms. Territorial authorities also need to determine the appropriate balance between their rights as a requiring authority and decision maker, and the use of designations as a planning instrument to identify, protect and undertake a public work.

Internal council departments often have differing views on how the district plan should provide for their activities. These differing views can become very apparent when territorial authority notices of requirement are lodged.

As with any requiring authority, councils should be given sufficient advance notice for designations in the plan review process, to ensure good timely information and adequate resources. It is also helpful to learn the needs and requirements of the council departments and to advise them of the RMA requirements including the plan review process. They should be aware of resourcing and time frames and must. They must also be prepared to defend their requirement through the submissions and appeal process.