In April 2020, Cabinet invited relevant Ministers to report back on possible options to align Public Works Act 1981 (PWA) processes with fast-tracked consenting processes under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Bill 2020, to give certainty to development projects.
This Bill create time-limited powers to fast-track resource consenting for specified infrastructure projects to support New Zealand’s economic recovery.
On 3 June 2020, the Cabinet Economic Development Committee (DEV) agreed to operational changes to the PWA, and directed officials to report back on possible legislative changes. On 1 July 2020 DEV agreed to additional non-legislative changes and decided to not progress legislative changes.
The relevant documents have also been proactively released on the COVID-19 website on 31 July.