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Govt must come clean on its RMA agenda: Greens

Govt must come clean on its RMA agenda: Greens

The Green Party is challenging the Government to come clean on its real agenda for the Resource Management Act (RMA), following today's call from environmentalists to scrap the current review of the Act.

Thirteen leading environmental and recreational groups, representing about 350,000 members, have written to the Prime Minister to warn that amending the principles and purposes of the RMA will lead to the interests of big business taking precedence over the environment and a return to inappropriate and unsustainable 'Think Big' projects.

"The Labour-led Government should come clean and tell the people of New Zealand what they're planning to do to the RMA, in light of their officials telling industry representatives that they're going to fundamentally change it," said Green Co-Leader Rod Donald.

"No amount of soft soaping from David Benson-Pope can disguise the fact that the Environment and Economic Development Ministries are contemplating more than mere tinkering.

"The RMA is not just about protecting the environment, it is also about protecting democracy. People must have the right to have a say about what happens in their neighbourhood. The RMA will become nothing more than a fig leaf for bad development if that fundamental principle is in anyway compromised.

"Labour should have the courage of its convictions and resist the pressure from the anti-environment National Party and its big business friends.

"The oft-made claim that the RMA is inherently anti-development is a myth. As the open letter to the PM points out, only 300 out of 49,000 resource consents applications last year were declined.

"The Green Party supports today's call from this broad coalition of concerned groups and when Parliament resumes we will be holding the Government to account," said Mr Donald.

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