June 9, 2021

Team Profile:
The Current Planning Framework for Geothermal Development

Deborah Kissick

photo credit:
Margaret Low

We have prepared a report that summarises the planning and regulatory framework as it relates to development and use of geothermal resources in New Zealand. This report was developed to provide a base level of understanding of regulatory and planning activity, before we began a project exploring an optimal enabling planning framework for the development and use of hotter, deeper supercritical geothermal resources. 

During the drafting of this report, the New Zealand Government announced that it would repeal and replace the Resource Management Act (RMA), which is the current legislation underpinning the use and development of geothermal resources. The drivers for changes to the RMA can be found here.

As a result, the GNG project now has an opportunity to directly contribute to the development of new resource management legislation for New Zealand. Our contribution will consider both the current geothermal resource use and development needs, and possible future supercritical geothermal opportunities.

It is our hope that this summary report is also useful for the wider New Zealand geothermal community, as you consider how to participate in this important consultation process.  

In July 2021, we invited your comments and feedback, as it was important to us that the material in this report adequately and accurately captures the current framework. We thank all those who generously shared their experience and provided feedback.

You can download the final report here, or if are more interested in a summarised version, try this conference paper.

Also, you can download this quick reference guide to New Zealand's Environmental Statutory Framework.

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Governance & Regulation


new publication

Further Updates