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Research Report 640 Understanding the value of meeting the requirements of environmental legislation

Published: | Category: Environmental sustainability , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This research developed a framework to enable roading authorities to understand the value of meeting the requirements of environmental legislation for roading improvement projects.

The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) is New Zealand’s main piece of legislation that determines how the environment is managed and was the focus of this research. Government and roading authorities are seeking an understanding of the costs and benefits of environmental mitigation in particular, which meant this research sought to understand the outcomes of the ‘avoid, remedy, mitigate’ process set out in section 5 of the RMA. 

Value was determined to be the difference between costs and benefits. The research recognised that not all benefits can be adequately monetised at this point in time, so the framework captures qualitative information, quantitative information and monetary measures. 

The framework was tested on three case studies, and the research concluded it can be applied across the full project lifecycle and can be facilitated by adopting a project benefits register. 

The study found that, to better inform decision making around the value of meeting the requirements of environmental legislation, a consistent approach to cost and benefit capture is required across roading authorities, which links costs with activities and outcomes arising from the implementation of environmental legislation.

Keywords: economic benefits, environmental benefits, environmental legislation, values assessment

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: September 2019
  • Reference: 640
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-1-98-851294-5