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National's RMA policy welcome, as far as it goes

Media statement
Monday, July 25th, 2005

National's RMA policy welcome, as far as it goes

While the procedural changes mooted by National's RMA policy are necessary and very welcome, it's hard to tell if the changes go far enough, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

For investment to occur the roadblocks in the RMA have to be removed, and National's first phase of amendments is a good start said EMA's chief executive, Alasdair Thompson.

"The fuller review will need to follow quickly. It's disappointing National has not got a fully reviewed RMA amendment ready to go to Select Committee immediately.

"The efficient allocation of resources is the best basis for sustainable resource management; the law needs to say plainly and strongly how this is to be achieved.

"At the very least the definition of 'environment' must be changed to focus on environmental outcomes.

"We welcome the strengthened emphasis on national standards embodied in the proposed Environmental Protection Agency.

"The change of emphasis signalled by the introduction of the term 'sustainable development', which is the internationally recognised one, is long overdue.

"Welcome too is the proposal to scrap legal aid for objectors, the limiting of objectors to those directly affected, and the simplifying of processes for changing district and regional plans."

ENDS

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