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RM Amendment Bill

RM Amendment Bill

The government will pass the Resource Management Amendment Bill under Parliamentary urgency with the support of United Future New Zealand, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs announced today.

"This represents a significant step forward in the process of reforming the RMA”, Marian Hobbs said.

"Thanks to United Future New Zealand’s support, besides securing the long awaited passage of the Bill itself, we are able to re-introduce a provision allowing limited notification of resource consent applications with minor effects."

This will mean that for these applications, only those people directly affected by a resource consent application will be able to object. The change will result in a fairer process for all those concerned. Marian Hobbs said also that the Resource Management Act reform process would not end there. She will be working closely with United Future on several concerns it has regarding the Act and its operation.

In particular, United Future have said they want direct referrals to the Environment Court allowed for projects of national or regional significance such as electricity generation projects and major roads.

"I believe that further work on this issue is worthwhile, and as a first step have agreed on the need to further reduce the current backlog in the Environment Court," Marian Hobbs said. "Work is underway to set concrete targets for achieving the necessary reduction."

Marian Hobbs has also agreed to discuss several other Resource Management Act issues with United Future and will be working closely with them over the next few months to find ways of achieving them.

"The Government and United Future agree the Resource Management Act needs to be reformed to reduce unnecessary costs, delays and uncertainty, but without compromising its focus on environmental integrity," Marian Hobbs said. "Today’s announcement and the passage of the Resource Management Amendment Bill are a significant step in that process."

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