So EMA wants to scrap RMA – why?
So EMA wants to scrap RMA – why?
Press release for Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre 27th June 2019.
RMA is the only thing standing between our collective community health & wellbeing and the loss of our communities ‘amenity values’.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) agreed to use the RMA as a protection method for our health and public wellbeing in a 2005 report.
So why scrap the RMA and then leave all communities at more risk of our loss of health and wellbeing?
That would defeat EMA vision statement below, of their stated goals ‘social well-being of regions, cities and communities’.
• EMA refers to the ‘Ministry of the Environment’ as the way to protect our communities environment. (Wrong again here. Ministry for the Environment was the ‘gold standard 17 years ago’, but has been run down since and has lost the plot since National took over, in 2008 and definitely now needs massive restoration sadly now.
• I will quote from the 2005 PCE report 3 The New Zealand context
Quote; “The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) did some work in 2002 developing guidelines for the control of noise, which it linked closely to the concept of urban amenity, but these were not pursued further:”
• If EMA was right here, the ‘Ministry for the Environment’ would still be actively improving our ‘residential environment’ as EMA thinks we should be receiving this now but the PCE claims here Quote; “but these were not pursued further:”
• So EMA is sending us a false belief that RMA is not needed now.
We in Napier are suffering with ‘excessive truck gridlock’ that is causing massive heavy traffic noise, vibration and air quality pollution problems to most suburban areas as the Napier Port following the over-use of truck freight to the port that is killing our residential communities as we speak.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) report we referred to above said clearly in section 3 of his HB Expressway noise and air quality report that using the RMA and the Land transport Act was the best route to apply solutions.
Quote; Full chapter;
3 The New Zealand context
3.1 Noise and urban amenity values Noise has not been considered to the same extent as other environmental standards in New Zealand. The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) did some work in 2002 developing guidelines for the control of noise, which it linked closely to the concept of urban amenity, but these were not pursued further: Just as urban amenity can be tangible or intangible, the indicators of urban amenity can be physical or perceptual. Physical indicators measure the changes in tangible urban amenity. Perceptual indicators measure the changes in intangible urban amenity. Sometimes you’ll need to measure change by using both a physical and a perceptual indicator. Noise is a good example. Noise could be measured by the physical indicator of decibels on a noise meter, and by the perceptual indicator of people’s satisfaction with noise level.12
Urban amenity values include the “less tangible aspects of the environment such as people’s perceptions, expectations, desires and tolerance”.13
Section 7c of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) states that the relevant agencies shall have particular regard to “the maintenance and enhancement of amenity values”. Section 31 states that one of the functions of territorial authorities is “the control of the emission of noise and the mitigation of the effects of noise”. Amenity values are defined as “those natural or physical qualities and characteristics of an area that contribute to people’s appreciation of its pleasantness, aesthetic coherence, and cultural and recreational attributes”.
The control of noise is clearly related to the promotion of health and amenity values. The Land Transport Act 2003 does not refer specifically to urban amenity. However, part of the purpose of the Act is to “improve social and environmental responsibility in land transport funding, planning, and management”. Relevant agencies must also take into account the protection and promotion of public health. This applies not just to the operations of transport agencies, but also to long-term community plans developed by local authorities. Un-quote
Beware of false prophets among us here is the message sent from EMA (Employers and Manufacturers Association.)