Major infrastructure development projects having effects extending beyond a single council area can be assessed under the Major Infrastructure Development Act 1999.

If the Minister, in consultation with affected councils, considers that a project wholly or principally comprises the construction of infrastructure, such as, a road, railway or powerline, the Minister may recommend that the Governor declare the proposal to be a ‘Major Infrastructure Project’. This must be approved by Parliament before an assessment can begin.

If approved, the Minister may direct a combined planning authority or the Commission to undertake an assessment.

The Commission prepares planning criteria for the assessment and invites comments on these before they are finalised.

An application for permit is submitted to the combined planning authority or the Commission for assessment against the planning criteria as if an application for a discretionary permit under section 57 of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.  This assessment process is the same as applications for discretionary permits under planning schemes.  The application is made publicly available and comments are invited.

After considering the application against the planning criteria and the comments received, the combined planning authority or the Commission either grants or refuses to grant a permit.  If granted, a permit will include permit conditions.

The decision to grant or refuse to grant a permit, may be appealed to the Resource Management Appeal Tribunal.

See flowchart for the major infrastructure development approvals process (PDF, 341.6 KB)

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