Projects such as new motorways, prisons, and wind farms can be approved under the Resource Management Act.

Our role is to process these applications for proposals of national significance. This involves providing administrative support for the decision-making process, which can include supporting the Board of Inquiry and the hearing process.

EPA functions

Part 4A of the Act describes the EPA's functions under the Act. Part 6AA contains detail around what matters can be lodged with the EPA, powers for the EPA to request further information and commission reports and timeframes for the EPA to make its recommendation to the Minister.

Nationally significant factors and direction

Part 6AA also gives examples of the factors that the Minister may consider when determining the 'national significance' of a matter, and processes following the Minister's direction on whether to refer a matter to a board of inquiry or the Environment Court.

Appointing the board of inquiry

If the Minister directs a matter to a board of inquiry, sections 149J-149S of the RMA set out how a board is appointed, its power, functions and responsibilities in making a decision on the matter.

Find out more about boards of inquiry

Environment Court

Sections 149T-149U govern the decision making process where a matter is referred to the Environment Court.


Section 149V sets out how the final decision of a board of inquiry or the Environment Court can be appealed.