Our RMA enforcement powers

EPA enforcement powers under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) will complement local authorities' compliance, monitoring and enforcement (CME) functions.

The RMA is New Zealand’s main piece of legislation that sets out how we should manage our environment. Most decisions on resource management are made by local government (councils).

We now have statutory power to assist in an enforcement action of a local council, and if necessary directly enforce the requirements of the RMA. 

The EPA will build stronger partnerships with local government, help build capability, and support an increase in compliance, monitoring and enforcement activities within New Zealand under the RMA.

We received enforcement powers under the RMA on 1 July 2020.

The Unit's role

Councils can request our support in investigating non-compliance with the RMA. 

For example, we may:

  • interview witnesses in relation to an incident
  • peer review investigation files
  • support councils in their enforcement decision making

Local councils

Local councils have certain roles and responsibilities under the RMA.

Roles and responsibilities of local government under the RMA - Ministry for the Environment website