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National's RMA Package a Step Forward

25 July 2005

National's RMA Package a Step Forward

"The Resource Management Act has been bad for the economy and bad for the environment and National's proposed changes would improve it", Roger Kerr, executive director of the New Zealand Business Roundtable said today.

Mr Kerr said that National's approach of introducing some amendments quickly if elected, followed by a more extended review, made sense. The review should not be constrained: the RMA was fundamentally flawed, not least because of the multiplicity of fuzzy, undefined terms (sustainable management, Treaty principles, definition of the environment, intrinsic values etc) that it contained.

The Business Roundtable was pleased to see the emphasis in the policy announcement on property rights and compensation for takings, and the criticism of so-called 'smart growth' policies.

It also favoured the proposals to reintroduce 'standing' and focus the Act on natural and physical resources.

"The government's 'top priority' objective of raising the country's rate of economic growth is not within sight of being achieved on present policies - indeed the trend growth rate is set to decline - and the RMA is widely acknowledged as a roadblock to growth.

"Substantial improvements to the RMA, not just tinkering as in the bill currently before parliament, should be a high priority for whatever government is in office after the election", Mr Kerr said.

ENDS

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