Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


RMA changes for renewable energy, climate change

RMA changes for renewable energy, climate change

The government is amending the Resource Management Act to give greater weight to the national benefits of renewable energy and to give a clearer mandate to consider the effects of climate change.

Energy Minister Pete Hodgson said the amendments would reflect the importance of energy and electricity supply in the government's Programme of Action on Sustainable Development. They would also help meet the renewable energy target set under the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy. "The government is well aware of growing pressure on New Zealand's electricity generation capacity," Mr Hodgson said. "Renewable energy is one of the most effective and sustainable ways of meeting this demand."

The amendments will allow councils to give greater weight to renewable energy when considering resource consents. Key local and regional councils were consulted last year on the need for a stronger legislative mandate in this area.

"This change will smooth the path for renewable energy while retaining the necessary environmental safeguards," Environment Minister Marian Hobbs said. "The RMA will still require consideration and management of the environmental effects of renewable energy production." Amendments are likely to involve changes to sections 2 and 7 of the RMA, providing explicit national direction on the importance of renewable energy. The changes to the RMA will make it clear that improving energy efficiency is also a key national objective.

The government has already announced an amendment that will remove the requirement for regional councils to have regard to the global effects of greenhouse gas emissions through resource consents, as these will be managed by national climate change policies.

At the same time councils will be directed to have regard to the local effects of climate change (such as rising sea levels) when preparing or reviewing their plans or making decisions on resource consents.

"Councils are not explicitly required by current law to do this and they differ in the extent to which they do so," Marian Hobbs said.

"The RMA will be amended to refer explicitly to the need to manage the effects of climate change. Non-statutory guidance will be available at the time the amendment comes into force. If required, in due course we may introduce a National Policy Statement on climate change to provide binding statutory guidance.

"These changes will be given priority by government and we expect they will be passed into law in the latter part of this year," Marian Hobbs concluded.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages