Resource Management Act

The RMA regulates the environmental effects of oil and gas activities on land and within the territorial sea.

The relevant district, regional and/or regional coastal plan determines whether a resource consent is required. An activity cannot occur, if the relevant plan classifies it as a prohibited activity, unless the plan is changed. Generally, prospecting is classified as a permitted activity (with controls) and mining as a discretionary activity, except in high value areas where non-complying or prohibited activity status may apply.

When an application is lodged, the consent authority will determine whether or not it should be publicly notified. A consent application must be publicly notified if the consent authority determines that its adverse effects on the environment are likely to be more than minor and there are no special circumstances precluding notification. 2219  This is likely to be the case for most production drilling proposals, so they should in most cases be publicly notified, enabling wide public involvement in the decision-making process.

  1. Section 95(8) and (9), RMA

Last updated at 3:21PM on February 11, 2018