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Survey proves RMA stranglehold on business

Survey proves RMA stranglehold on business

National says it comes as no surprise that the stifling red tape of the Resource Management Act tops the list of concerns for small and medium-sized businesses in a just-released survey.

More than 20 percent of the 1000 businesses questioned listed regulation, especially the RMA, as the biggest problem facing them.

"There's no doubt that the RMA has a stranglehold on the business community," says National's Finance spokesman, Don Brash. "Any small enterprise will tell you it's a major source of increasing costs, delay and uncertainty.

"And the Government's doing nothing to allay these concerns. Changes to the RMA tabled in Parliament last month clearly don't go far enough, and the Environment Minister's just dismissing the issue by saying the select committee should only consider the Bill for a week.

"There's a groundswell of fear around the workings of this Act and this goes well beyond impeding growth. The RMA is also engendering a climate of corruption - one of our leading businessmen, Bill Day, recently talked of it being "hijacked" by interest groups looking for payouts to withdraw objections to projects.

"Then there is the growing racial tension around the Act, as highlighted recently in the leaked document produced by Hauraki iwi, Ngati Puu.

"All this points to a difficult and cumbersome piece of legislation which the Government could improve, but won't. There is no wonder many businesses are targeting it as their chief concern," says Dr Brash.

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