Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Greens want RMA amended to protect all rivers

Greens want RMA amended to protect all rivers

Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says fresh water is now as precious as "clear gold" and has begun a campaign to get the vital resource properly managed before further conflict arises.

The Greens have begun the campaign because of uncertainty over the fate of the special legislation drawn up to manage the Waitaki River in the face of the extreme demands of the now-defunct Project Aqua.

Ms Fitzsimons has sent a discussion document to regional councils, iwi and other groups with a known interest in river protection to get input into a Member's bill on the issue. At the moment, the Resource Management Act (RMA) gives regional councils the option of drawing up regional plans which may include plans for water. However, the Greens propose that planning for river catchments should be mandatory.

"Water is rapidly becoming a scarce resource in many parts of New Zealand and we are starting to see a Gold Rush-attitude towards it from both irrigation and hydro projects," said Ms Fitzsimons, the Green Party Spokesperson on Energy and Conservation.

"The RMA is designed to decide applications for consent against big picture policies and rules in a plan. But for many applications to take water from rivers, there is no plan in place.

"We must never again face an application to take most of the water out of a river when there is no plan in place for that river and its surrounding land use. It is too late to plan once an application like that is received. So I have invited feedback on whether and how mandatory planning should be required to prevent the Aqua situation happening again.

"As a result of the work we did on the Waitaki Bill and the withdrawal of Project Aqua it has become clear that many rivers are at risk, not just the Waitaki. It would be illogical to proceed with special legislation for one river when others are facing the same issues. However some of the work done for the Waitaki Bill may well be suitable to include in this bill.

"Happily, recent work on integrated catchment management combines land and water planning and is particularly suitable for regional plans," said Ms Fitzsimons.

The discussion document will be available on the Green Party web site http://www.greens.org.nz from Monday.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news