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Whangamata: Welcome To Our World

8 March 2006

Whangamata: Welcome To Our World

Federated Farmers has a message for the people of Whangamata: Welcome To Our World, said Bruce McNab of Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

Mr McNab's comments follow the Minister of Conservation blocking an Environment Court approval of a $10 million coastal development in the Coromandel town.

"Whangamata people are unfortunately learning the hard lessons that farmers learn every day about the Resource Management Act.

"Farmers sympathise with residents of Whangamata and hope that publicity about their plight will lead to some real changes.

"It is time that Whangamata people, farmers and many others affected by the RMA's flaws join hands to demand a fundamental review of the RMA, including powers granted to the minister and the Department of Conservation.

"These powers allow the minister and DoC to ride roughshod over the interests of individuals and the community.

"It is time for a fundamental review of the RMA -- not the limited review on coastal development rules that the minister announced yesterday.

"The review must remove DoC's ability to advocate for conservation controls on private land using the RMA.

"DoC and the courts force farmers into setting aside large areas of private land for conservation, landscape and heritage reasons. Farmers are expected to wear the costs of this public benefit without compensation.

"Federated Farmers calls on the Minister of Conservation to join with his colleague the Minister for the Environment and undertake a review of the RMA," Mr McNab said.

Improving - not scrapping - the RMA and the way it is implemented is a strategic priority for the Federation over the next three years.

ENDS

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