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RMA Reference Group...More Of The Same

RMA Reference Group...More Of The Same

Wednesday 16 Jun 2004 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Environment & Conservation

Associate Environment Minister David Benson-Pope's five-member reference group to review the Resource Management Act is just more committees and processes, with no sign of action, ACT New Zealand Environment Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"We had a major independent review process in the late 1990s, which the Labour Government has totally ignored," Mr Shirley said.

"One of the key problems of the RMA is that it has been high jacked and perverted by three interest groups - the Green movement, Maori and professional planners and bureaucrats.

"The reference group announced by the Minister is no more than a pandering to these existing groups who have been responsible for the perversion of the RMA in the first place.

"The reference group is being placed in a strait jacket by the Government with extremely narrow terms of reference and a prohibition on examining key contentious points, such as a potential objector being required to show that they are directly affected by a resource consent application.

"The RMA is fundamentally flawed and its basic premises need to be re-examined. It should be confined to the management of natural and physical resources as originally intended. It is the wrong instrument to address cultural and metaphysical aspects and indeed, the original raison d'etre was to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources.

"The RMA attempts to do too much and fails miserably. Placing the Forest and Bird Protection Society's environmental lawyer on the review panel is an affront and an insult to all businesses and property owners in New Zealand.

"It is clear the Labour Government has no intention of making the necessary changes to the RMA that its own compliance cost review deems so necessary," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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