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Nelson Mail - 2021-11-26

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Legislation anticipation puts Nelson Plan on pause

News

Skara Bohny

Nelson’s ‘‘most critical plan’’ has been put on hold, but work to address housing issues will continue. The decision to pause the Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan (WWNP) was foreshadowed in an environment and climate committee meeting this month, and the decision was made at the end of the full council meeting on Tuesday. The plan is an overarching document laying the groundwork for all other Nelson City Council plans and works under the Resource Management Act (RMA), and has by now been in the works for several years. The plan was initially intended to be released for community consultation, but the expected release of upcoming legislative changes to the RMA could mean significant changes would be required. Mayor Rachel Reese said an ‘‘enormous amount of work’’ had gone into the plan. ‘‘This is a major legislative reform that is proposed, and it’s a very, very difficult decision I know to say ‘look, we’re going to take a different approach’, but I’m really grateful for the team . . . making sure that we’re in the best position possible to move forward. ‘‘It may come to the point where we have to do a partial plan change under the RMA, because we’re still in the transition process, but we’ll just have to see how that plays out over the next 12 months to three years, to five years to eight years depending on how this goes. We’ll just have to see what happens.’’ The Government announced reforms to the RMA in July, and the council said in a statement after the meeting that it expected legislation to come in early next year.

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