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National environmental standards under the Resource Management Act 1991

National environmental standards (NESs) are regulations issued under section 43 of the Resource Management Act 1991.

NESs are regulations that prescribe technical and non-technical standards, methods or other requirements for:

  • land use and subdivision 
  • use of the coastal marine area and beds of lakes and rivers 
  • water take and use
  • discharges
  • noise.

Each regional, city or district council must enforce the same standard. In some circumstances where specified in the NES, councils can impose stricter or more lenient standards.

National environmental standards in effect