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All state highway construction projects, network maintenance area and bridge maintenance contracts will develop an environmental and social management plan (ESMP).

The purpose of an ESMP is to:

  • Assist the Transport Agency to deliver the intended environmental and social outcomes of construction, operation and maintenance activities undertaken by our contractors.
  • Provide a mechanism through which an environmental management system can be implemented during a contract between the contractors, consultants and the NZ Transport Agency.
  • Set out accountability for both the contract team and the client (NZ Transport Agency).
  • Show how the contract will achieve compliance with permitted activities under the Resource Management Act (RMA), resource consent conditions, designation conditions, archaeological authorities and Department of Conservation concessions.
  • Establish environmental processes and procedures to minimize negative effects on the environment.

ESMPs are an essential tool to manage environmental and social risk during construction (for a capital project) and during operation and maintenance activities for a maintenance contract. We have guidance material on what the minimum requirements for an ESMP are including templates for different contract types. The Environment and Urban Design team can also assist you. ESMPs are a living document and require review and updating to ensure they remain relevant to the contract.

The responsibility to produce an ESMP rests with the physical works contractor. The professional services consultant ensures the plan is prepared, maintained and recommended as fit for purpose to the NZ Transport Agency. However, it is becoming common practice for RMA or other environmental permit application to include a draft ESMP which is usually prepared by a professional services consultant as part of the consent application. The consenting strategy will determine whether an ESMP is lodged with the RMA application.

Higher risk or more complex environmental and social aspects will need a sub-management plan due to the specialist level of management detail required. For example, pest plant management, construction noise, archaeological and heritage management plan etc. These sub-management plans will be integrated with the overall management plan framework.

Guideline for preparing an environmental and social management plan

Use this guideline [PDF, 731 KB] if you are preparing an ESMP for an environmental permit application, for a state highway construction project, a network maintenance area contract (network outcomes contract) or bridge maintenance contract. In addition refer to the relevant templates and guides.

An e-learning module on environmental and social management plans is also available(external link). Completing this module will give you an overview of the purpose structure and contents of an ESMP which will meet the Agency’s requirements. More specific guidance relating to the type of project you are working on is outlined below.

Physical works/construction project

If you are developing an environmental and social management plan for capital works use this template [DOCX, 349 KB] and have a look at these examples:

Maintenance contract

If you are developing an environmental and social management plan for a Network Outcomes Contract (NOC) use this template [DOCX, 351 KB] and have a look at this example and presentation:

Structures maintenance contract

If you are developing an environmental and social management plan for a bridge maintenance contract use this template [DOCX, 351 KB] and refer to this methodology and example:

Sub-management plan guidance

Higher risk environmental and social aspects will have a sub-management plan due to the specialist level of management detail required. For detailed guidance on management on particular environmental and social risks, refer to the technical disciplines pages. Sub management plan templates may be available eg a Construction noise and vibration management plan template is available under the noise and vibration pages.

For further information contact