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National slams new RMA law

National slams new RMA law

Sandra Goudie - Coromandel MP

Proposed Government amendments to the Resource Management Act leave the door open for Maori to virtually veto land use throughout the country, says Coromandel MP Sandra Goudie.

"By elevating the protection of historic heritage to a matter of national importance, Maori will have a wide scope to object to land use.

"The definition for heritage now includes the terms 'cultural landscapes', 'spiritual' and 'ancestral landscapes'.

"The Government has failed in its duty to represent all New Zealanders and is ignoring the long term social and economic implications of through such divisive policies."

The Bill would also give increased status to iwi planning documents by requiring local authorities to show how they are incorporated into their own policies and planning.

"The tragedy is that people do not realise the implications of such policy until it is too late and legislation has been passed."

Ms Goudie described the changes relating to heritage status as "largely unheralded", despite Government claims that the issues were not new to the House.

She criticised the process by which the amendments would be debated, accusing the Government of strangling the opportunity to debate the changes. Instead of the usual part-by-part debate on the Bill, the Government is treating the entire Bill as a whole.

"The Government is drastically limiting debate on a piece of legislation which will have far reaching fundamental consequences," said Ms Goudie.

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