1995 volume 22(1) pages 109 – 124

Cite as:
Memon P A, Gleeson B J, 1995, "Towards a new planning paradigm? Reflections on New Zealand's Resource Management Act" Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 22(1) 109 – 124

Download citation data in RIS format

Towards a new planning paradigm? Reflections on New Zealand's Resource Management Act

P A Memon, B J Gleeson

Received 16 November 1993; in revised form 15 June 1994

Abstract. The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) provides a new statutory framework for environmental planning in New Zealand. This Act replaces a plethora of environmental planning and management statutes including the town and country planning legislation. The new Act signals a paradigmatic shift in planning ideology, and perhaps practice. The change is from a 'town and country' mode, which was embedded in the wider political economy of the welfare state, to a new biophysical and technocentric planning ethos. This paradigmatic shift is seen as worrying in that it may signal a dilution of social and economic equity considerations which, in our opinion, should be concerns for planning. The analysis of the paper has three parts. The first is a description of the system of urban planning which prevailed in New Zealand until the enactment of the RMA in 1991. The second section is a review of the sociopolitical changes which shaped the new legislation. The third part of the discussion is an overview of the new Act and an analysis of two of its key aspects: the influence of New Right ideology in the legislation; and the approach to sustainable development.

Restricted material:

PDF Full-text PDF size: 2400 Kb

Your computer (IP address: has not been recognised as being on a network authorised to view the full text or references of this article. This content is part of our deep back archive. If you are a member of a university library that has a subscription to the journal, please contact your serials librarian (subscriptions information).