Saturday, May 25, 2024

Latest CME report shows massive scale of Regional Council regulatory work

The third Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement (CME) Metrics report has been released, providing insight into one of New Zealand’s biggest regulatory systems, with year-on-year comparisons revealing an increase in the number of complaints both responded to and attended in person by regional council staff. 

Commissioned by Local Government New Zealand’s Regional Sector and based on a survey conducted across all regional and unitary councils, the report aims to provide insight and improvement to CME delivery, and share best practice across the sector.

“This is a report by councils, for councils, to drive improvement in what is one of New Zealand’s biggest regulatory systems,” said Horizons Regional Council Chief Executive, Michael McCartney.

“It’s really staggering how much work our regional councils get through, whether delivering consents, monitoring them, working with landowners and industry to ensure they’re being adhered to, and taking enforcement action against those who aren’t following the rules.”

Regional and unitary councils across New Zealand administer over 250,000 resource consents each year.

In 2019/2020, the sector undertook almost 64,000 assessments of over 41,000 consents. Both the number of consents monitored and the number of assessments completed increased by approximately 13,000 when compared to the previous year.

“In the 2019 to 2020 financial year, CME staff attended over 32,000 complaints and incidents in person.  That really shows the amount of resource, time and effort that regional councils are putting in on the ground,” said Mr McCartney.

“Prior to these reports, the sector identified the need for greater consistency and for best practice across resource management regulation.  These reports are a powerful way to achieve that.”

The sector achieved a 99.2% national response rate in the most recent reporting year, demonstrating continual improvement over each of the past three reports. There were also over 7,000 individual enforcement actions taken for breaches of the Resource Management Act.

“Regional councils undertake a huge breath of work, and it’s only getting bigger as a range of new central government regulations come into effect across freshwater, biodiversity and resource management.”

“Given the increasing volume of work, it’s vital that regional councils are looking closely at where and how we can improve, and this report helps greatly with this,” concluded Mr McCartney.

New Zealand has 16 regional and unitary councils, whose role is primarily concerned with Aotearoa’s environment and managing our land, air, coast and water resources.  These councils are also responsible for biodiversity, regional parks, flood protection, emergency management and regional transport.

To view the CME report, visit

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