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More RMA changes needed for power supply

Copeland: More RMA changes needed for power supply

If the Government is serious about a long-term solution to New Zealand's power problems then further changes need to be made to the Resource Management Act to allow power transmission upgrades, United Future energy spokesman Gordon Copeland said today.

"We have the ludicrous situation where if Transpower wants to upgrade the national grid transmission system, it needs the consent of every last local authority over whose land the lines run.

"And if just one says 'no', then the whole deal is off. It is simply ridiculous," he said. "That is no way to run something as vital as the nation's power supply."

"What's needed is a mechanism for direct referral to the Environment Court so the issue can be dealt with once and only once," Mr Copeland said.

He raised the matter in Parliament today, adding to his call yesterday for the Government to build on its announcement of added reserve generation capacity.

"As I said, that's a good start. But let's fix the RMA and the Conservation Act, which has consistently killed off hydro-power initiatives since it came into being in 1987.

"There is no simple quick-fix. It is a matter of the Government responsibly putting all the building blocks in place and clearing some of the obstacles that are there today," he said.

United Future recently had the terms "spiritual", "cultural landscapes" and "ancestral landscapes" removed from the Resource Management Act Amendment Bill (No.2).

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