We welcome the introduction of the Natural and Built Environment Bill and support the principles of the legislation aimed at developing a more proactive and protective environmental planning and protection regime for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our submission on the Bill is written to be considered in tandem with our submission on the Spatial Planning Bill as there are a number of cross over issues particularly in relation to requiring planning committees to consider the needs of disabled people.

DPA's recommendations include:

1. That the requirement for the national planning framework and all plans to provide for system outcomes including "an adaptable and resilient urban form with good accessibility for people and communities to social, economic, and cultural opportunities", be amended to explicitly name disabled people as a group with a specific requirement for accessibility.  

2. That all decision-making bodies be required to consider the needs of disabled people and that engagement processes be required to consult with disabled people and their representative organisations.

3. That the language and wording used in the several clauses that cover matters that must be disregarded when preparing or changing plans, be reviewed and consideration be given as to whether the desired policy outcome can be achieved in another way.  

These clauses specifically list adverse effects arising from the use of the land by people on low incomes, people with special housing needs, and people whose disabilities mean that they need support or supervision in their housing, as matters that must be disregarded.

Read the full DPA submission on the Natural and Built Environment Bill [Word Doc]