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RMA Bill Threat To Conservation And Biodiversity

Resource Management Bill New Threat To Conservation And Biodiversity

The Forest and Bird Protection Society today condemned the Government's proposals to amend the Resource Management Act and said they threatened the survival of New Zealand's natural heritage.

Society spokesperson, Barry Weeber, said the proposals to amend the Resource Management Act contained a range of measures that would reduce public involvement in environmental planning and would weaken conservation safeguards for New Zealand's threatened plants and animals.

"If implemented, these changes will make it harder to protect the habitat of kiwi and other threatened species."

Mr Weeber said the Resource Management Act was the key tool used to protect and conserve New Zealand's unique biodiversity on private land. "The amendments to the Act would make protection harder to achieve."

"Instead of weakening the Resource Management Act, the Government should look at enhancing conservation on private land through extra funding for the Nature Heritage Fund and Nga Whenua Rahui, and through a national policy statement on biodiversity."

Mr Weeber said the Bill contains provisions that will raise costs for submitters and applicants. "The Bill's provisions to have commissioners hear resource consents will make the process more expensive for all parties."

Mr Weeber said other proposals that will weaken the Act's environmental measures include removing the provisions for non-complying activities, removing some of the controls on subdivisions, and allowing private firms to process resource consents.


ENDS

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