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Anderton hypocrisy on RMA riles opposition

Nick Smith
National Environment Spokesperson

18 April 2001

Anderton hypocrisy on RMA riles opposition

"Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton's comments that the Resource Management Act is unduly bureaucratic totally contradict his own Government's decisions to ditch amendments before Parliament aimed at streamlining the Act," National's Environment spokesperson Nick Smith said today.

"Jim Anderton cannot have it both ways. He can't go around the country telling business audiences that the Resource Management Act is too bureaucratic and causes too many delays and then the very next day have his Government MP's reject amendments designed to address these very issues.

"The hypocrisy is that the Alliance is proposing to make the Resource Management Act even more exposed to unnecessary delays and costs through a Private Members Bill by their MP Grant Gillon.

Jim Anderton yesterday agreed with criticism from Japanese timber company Juken Sangyo that the Resource Management Act is causing delays and unnecessary costs for new investments.

The Local Government and Environment Select Committee is today debating the Resource Management Amendment Bill with Government members indicating they will oppose changes that will reduce bureaucracy and delays of the Act.

Rejected changes include integrating heritage provisions with the Historic Places Act, a tighter definition of 'Environment', contestable consent processing, direct referrals to the Environment Court and independent Commissioner hearings.

"If the Government is genuine about improving the Resource Management Act, it will pick up the changes before the Select Committee, that have been developed in an exhaustive three year review, and pass them into law. The Government cannot go on telling business one thing and doing the opposite," Dr Smith said.

Ends


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