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Ministry for the Environment

WSP Environmental Training Centre now delivers the “Making Good Decisions (MGD) Programme” on behalf of the Ministry for the Environment. The purpose of MGD is to help councillors, community board members, and independent commissioners make better decisions under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). It provides RMA decision-makers with the skills needed to run fair and effective hearings, and to make informed decisions.

The Programme was originally developed by the Ministry for the Environment and Local Government New Zealand in consultation with stakeholders and professional bodies, including the New Zealand Planning Institute. The training material delivered from 2013 onwards has been extensively revised by the Ministry to accommodate a number of recent legislative changes, including the expanded scope in accreditation requirements from 2014.  

The programme covers three courses:

  • Foundation – this course is intended for Councillors, Council officials, industry professionals and iwi groups to obtain certification to sit as an accredited member of a Hearings Panel.
  • Recertification for Panel members – this course is intended for existing certified panel members who wish to recertify before the expiration of their certificate.
  • Recertification for Panel Chairs – this course is intended for commissioners who are already experienced Chairs or who would like to develop skills as Chairs.
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