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Controversial historic RMA definitions to go

Baldock: Controversial historic RMA definitions to go

In a bid to make the RMA more workable, United Future will be moving that the terms "spiritual", "cultural landscapes" and "ancestral landscapes" be removed from the Resource Management Act Amendment Bill (No.2), the party's environment spokesman, Larry Baldock, announced today.

"I will be moving a Supplementary Order Paper to that effect, and United Future will be looking for the Government's support," Mr Baldock said.

"We have indicated for some time that we're not happy with the scope of the heritage provisions in the Bill, and this will address those concerns.

"While we are quite aware of the spiritual values overlaid on some issues, we feel that they can be adequately dealt with under the umbrella of historic and wahi tapu issues, and there is no advantage to anyone in further expanding or complicating matters with all these separate categories.

"The original bill, as drafted in 1999, clearly intended to elevate heritage sites to a matter of national importance, but the expanded definition was introduced by the Greens at the select committee stage, and as with many Green initiatives, it opened up the possibility of frivolous and vexatious claims.

"This amendment is about saying 'let's get down to business and get things moving'. We can't afford not to," Mr Baldock said.

"There is a backlog of important activities and projects awaiting RMA approval, and this amendment will be a significant part in clearing the blockage," Mr Baldock said.

"This has been a long process, spanning some four years, but since the last election, United Future has pushed to get this Bill through, despite opposition and stalling tactics from National, ACT and New Zealand First, and its completion this week is a real step forward."

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