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Devolution and the New Zealand Resource Management Act

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Many past and potential New Zealand reforms involve significant devolution, i.e. the transfer of authority to make decisions on behalf of society from a higher to a lower level of government. In particular the Resource Management Act (RMA), the health and education reforms, and decisions about the institutions for addressing Maori issues have led to significant devolution of authority. Employment policy and social welfare are areas where devolution is an important policy option. The role and function of local government also is inherently an issue of the appropriate level of devolution. Many of these reforms have now been in place for a number of years, so it is appropriate to review our experience of devolution, identify the successes, and attempt to address the problems that have arisen. Two papers address issues of when and how we should devolve authority from central to local government. This paper looks at devolution both from a general theoretical standpoint and from the perspective of the New Zealand Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), with residential land use as an illustration. Although the RMA is discussed throughout both papers, the framework developed applies to any area of policy for which devolution decisions are being considered. The second paper, Treasury Working Paper 98/7a, applies the framework to the optimal pattern of devolution for policies relating to kiwi protection.

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File URL: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/1998/98-07/twp98-07.pdf
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Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 98/07.

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Length: 70 pages
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Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:98/07

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Postal: New Zealand Treasury, PO Box 3724, Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: +64-4-472 2733
Fax: +64-4-473 0982
Web page: http://www.treasury.govt.nz
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Cited by:
  1. Tracy Yandle, 2006. "Sharing natural resource management responsibility: Examining the New Zealand rock lobster co-management experience," Policy Sciences, Springer, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 249-278, September.
  2. Suzi Kerr & Andrew Aitken & Arthur Grimes, 2004. "Land Taxes and Revenue Needs as Communities Grow and Decline: Evidence from New Zealand," Working Papers, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research 04_01, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  3. Megan Claridge & Sarah Box, 2000. "Economic Integration, Sovereignty and Identity: New Zealand in the Global Economy," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 00/22, New Zealand Treasury.
  4. Natalie Brady, 2002. "Striking a Balance: Centralised and Decentralised Decisions in Government," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 02/15, New Zealand Treasury.
  5. Suzi Kerr & Andrew Aitken & Arthur Grimes, 2004. "Land Taxes and Revenue Needs as Communities Grow and," Public Economics, EconWPA 0403001, EconWPA.
  6. Basil Sharp, 2002. "Institutions and Decision Making for Sustainable Development," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 02/20, New Zealand Treasury.

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