The Resource Management Act identifies a number of matters that are of special significance for resource management, which are set out in sections 6, 7 and 8 of the Act. These principles give “further elaboration” to the section 5 purpose of sustainable management 478 by stating particular obligations for those administering the RMA. 479 There are three sets of principles:
- Matters of national importance - which decision makers must 'recognise and provide for';
- Other matters - which decision makers must 'have particular regard to''; and
- The principles of the Treaty of Waitangi - which decision makers are required to 'take into account'.
The statutory hierarchy means that a “stronger direction” is given in relation to matters of national importance (section 6) as compared to other matters (section 7). 480
The requirement to “recognise and provide for” matters requires the decision-maker to make actual provision for the listed matters. In contrast, the obligation to “have particular regard to” matters requires those matters to be given genuine attention and thought although they may be rejected. 481 The requirement to “take into account” the principles of the Treaty requires the decision-maker to consider the relevant Treaty principles, to weigh those up with other relevant factors and to give them the weight that is appropriate in the circumstances. 482
The Resource Management Act also contains procedural principles, which are set out in section 18A of the Act. Decision makers are required to "take all practicable steps" to: 4485
- Use timely, efficient, consistent, and cost-effective processes that are proportionate to the functions or powers being performed or exercised;
- Ensure that policy statements and plans include only those matters relevant to the purpose of the Act and are worded in a way that is clear and concise; and
- Promote collaboration between local authorities on their common resource management issues.
Environmental Defence Society Inc v The New Zealand King Salmon Company Ltd  NZKS 38 at . See also Genesis Power Ltd v Franklin District Council  NZRM 541 at 
Environmental Defence Society Inc v The New Zealand King Salmon Company Ltd  NZKS 38 at .
Marlborough Ridge Ltd v Marlborough District Council  NZRMA 73
Bleakley v Environmental Risk Management Authority  3 NZLR 213 (HC). See also Trans-Tasman Resource Marine Consent Decision (June 2014), at 
Section 18A, RMA
Last updated at 2:13PM on January 4, 2018