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Expediency to the fore in RMA administration

Expediency to the fore in RMA administration

Efforts by the Government to speed up resource consents for Waitaki water demonstrate how political expediency has taken precedence over fair treatment for the whole community in administration of the Resource Management Act, says the New Zealand Contractors’ Federation.

Mr Stephen Thompson, president of the federation, said today that the intention of the Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, to consult on a better process for deciding Waitaki resource consents to reduce costs and uncertainty is to be applauded.

“But in making this decision the Minister has made it clear for the umpteenth time that the Resource Management Act, as promoted through Parliament by the Government, is deficient in practice.

“The decision over Waitaki water simply shows that if it is politically expedient the Government will take action to accelerate the consents process. Those projects that aren’t on the government’s political priority list simply have to be dealt with in manner that entails unnecessary costs and considerable uncertainties for the construction industry.

“This is unfair, bad governance and illustrative of favouritism toward those with political clout that the government either fears or wishes to indulge for its own purposes. It makes a mockery of even handed government administration.

“Auckland authorities should take note of the decision and place similar pressures to those of the people engaged in the Waitaki process to get progress on the State Highway 20 project and their proposed highways programme. Clearly political power can make a difference when it comes to the RMA consents process.” – ends

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