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Review of Resource Management Act

5 April 2004
Review of Resource Management Act: Press release

New Zealand’s Chambers of Commerce believe that Parliament should include “the enhancement of New Zealanders’ general material standard of living” as a matter of national importance in the Resource Management Act.

“Last year we proposed this simple solution to the problems of the RMA that could be quickly put in place” says Wellington Chamber CEO Philip Lewin.

“It is hard to see why this yardstick has not been always in the Act to give it greater balance. With widespread support for higher growth it makes good sense to include it now.”

“Support for this change will be a litmus test of our politicians’ commitment to higher living standards for New Zealanders.

“Adding the above test will have two immediate practical and positive effects. It will:

- Cause local governments to review their plans to ensure they are permissive of growth, while still adequately protecting the environment;

- Guide decision makers under the Act to give greater weight to projects that enhance our general standard of living. Major projects that are essential for growth will be given an extra push.

“New Zealand needs this change if its energy, transport, water and wastewater, broadband services and other infrastructure developments are to respond to a rapidly growing economy.”

Mr Lewin added: “The intention of the RMA was to draw as much as possible into one consent process to allow holistic decision making.

“Therefore, as we have just seen, the provision in legislation such as the Lower Waitaki water allocation bill for multiple trips to the Environment Court is thoroughly unhelpful as it directly causes substantial delays.”

ENDS

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