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Actions speak louder than words - RMA

Actions speak louder than words when it comes to RMA reform

United Future's environment spokesman Larry Baldock has responded to National MP Nick Smith's alarmist claims about the Resource Management Amendment Bill by calling on him to put up or shut up.

"We are well aware that more needs to be done to fix the RMA, but at least we are prepared to make a start," he says.

"National's denial that the latest Resource Management Amendment Bill represents a small but significant step forward in the long-stalled RMA reform process simply highlights their political impotence.

"It is even worse when you consider that neither the last National Government nor the current Government were able to take even this step before United Future brought a bit of practical commonsense to this issue.

"To suggest that this bill will somehow sentence New Zealand to ongoing uncertainty over power supply and more years of stifling traffic congestion is nothing more than a cynical attempt to exploit fears about the power crisis by attributing all of the country's infrastructural woes solely to the RMA.

"The RMA is only one factor among the causes underlying such problems - many of which were already clearly apparent in the 1990s during which time the Government in which he was a Minister did nothing to alleviate them.

"The unwillingness of DoC to approve new hydro schemes and the lack of transparency in their decision making processes under the Conservation Act is one example of a problem that has nothing to do with the RMA.

"The lack of available fuel supplies that the owners of several proposed new thermal electricity generation plants - plants that already have the necessary resource consents - need to secure before construction can begin is another.

"United Future is well aware of these kinds of problems and is working closely with the Government on several approaches to resolving them - including further significant legislative amendments to the RMA in the near future.

"What practical, constructive contribution has Dr Smith made lately?" asked Mr Baldock.

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