Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Chapman Tripp applauds RMA overhaul, Forest & Bird alarmed

Chapman Tripp applauds RMA overhaul, Forest & Bird alarmed

By Pattrick Smellie

Feb. 28 (BusinessDesk) - The law firm that hosted Environment Minister Amy Adams's launch of a government discussion paper on reform to the Resource Management Act has praised the initiatives, saying they are not before time.

“This is by any analysis a substantial reform package, not a tune up," said John Hassan, a resource management partner at Chapman Tripp. "It targets all parts of the RMA’s planning and consenting framework to deliver better community-led outcomes.”

That package "would make councils much more clearly accountable to their communities for what their plans are delivering," said Hassan. "The task of determining values and policies will be more clearly that of elected representatives, rather than the Environment Court.”

However, a triumvirate of environmental advocates expressed alarm at the proposals.

In a joint statement, the Royal New Zealand Forest & Bird Protection Society, the New Zealand Fish and Game Council and Ecologic, a consultancy led by Guy Salmon, a one-time close adviser to former Environment Minister Nick Smith said the RMA's purpose would be undermined by the proposals.

“At present, independent panels of local commissioners, supported by the oversight of Environment Courts, are able to hear and evaluate evidence, and develop plans that reflect their communities’ values.

“Under these proposals, the independence of the system will largely be lost, and Ministers will be able to impose in specific areas the outcomes that are judged in Wellington to be the right ones.”

Forest & Bird also issued a more heated statement on its own, saying the proposals "must be stopped."

The discussion paper, which requires submissions by April 2, proposes changes to fundamental provisions of the Act relating to environmental bottom lines; faster and cheaper resource consent proposals; a huge reduction in the number of local government planning documents; and potential for a new Crown agency to fast-track important developments, such as large-scale new sub-divisions in Auckland.

Chapman Tripp's Hassan described the package as "overwhelmingly positive", while anticipating heated debate about the balance between environmental protection and economic development.

“The RMA’s purpose has always reflected use, development and protection dimensions. Importantly too, the accountabilities of central and local government for the trade-offs that must always be made as to the use, development and protection of resources will be made sharper. The reform proposals cannot realistically be characterised as licence to exploit," Hassan said.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Real Estate: Housing Prices Head South In Most Of NZ

Housing became more affordable for first home buyers in many parts of the country including Auckland last month, as falling prices more than offset rising mortgage interest rates. More>>

ALSO:

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • KiwiRail Goes Deisel: Cans electric trains on partially electrified North Island trunkline

    Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – KiwiRail, the state-owned rail and freight operator, said a small fleet of electric trains on New Zealand’s North Island would be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. More>>

  • KiwiRail - KiwiRail announces fleet decision on North Island line
  • Greens - Ditching electric trains massive step backwards
  • Labour - Bill English turns ‘Think Big’ into ‘Think Backwards’
  • First Union - Train drivers condemn KiwiRail’s return to “dirty diesel”
  • NZ First - KiwiRail Going Backwards for Xmas
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Business
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news