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Biodiversity offsets under the Resource Management Act 1991: A New Environmental Bottom-Line?

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posted on 14.11.2021, 07:56 by Holloway, Adam Lothian

Biodiversity offsets, a form of environmental compensation, are increasingly being offered by developers and taken into account as part of the process for determining planning permissions in New Zealand. This paper outlines the concept of biodiversity offsets and, with reference to a case study, the role it currently plays under New Zealand's primary planning legislation – the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The paper argues that while the current approach to offsets under the RMA is sub-optimal, recent developments of the law pertaining to national policy statements provide an opportunity to use biodiversity offsets as part of implementing an environmental bottom line for biodiversity and ecosystem function loss.


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Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Masters Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law


Iorns, Catherine