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RMA - Balancing Progress With Protection

15 September 2004

RMA - Balancing Progress With Protection

New Zealand First has released a new policy “clarifying and streamlining” the Resource Management Act and deleting a clause relating to the “principles” of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The new RMA policy was released today by Local Government and Environment spokesperson Jim Peters, a long-term regional councillor and past chairman of the Northland Regional Council.

Mr Peters said the main aim of the policy was to clarify and streamline the processes undertaken under the RMA and to make them consistent across the country.

“We want to remove the obstacles and frustrations which have become part of these processes and to ensure that all affected parties have unhindered access to the consent system.

“To this end, New Zealand First wants to strengthen the pre-hearings phase, including the attendance of all relevant parties, specific and agreed timelines and the appropriate expertise for this phase.

“We also will amend the Act to ensure that at the conclusion of the pre-hearings meeting, only those issues that have been defined as forming the basis of a hearing should be the subject of any further hearing.

“The hearings will be improved through the use of experienced commissioners, the provision for orderly cross examination and holding hearings in a ‘submitter friendly’ environment, and if possible locally. Additionally, vexatious litigants will be able to be identified and treated as such.”

Mr Peters said that under matters of national importance the relationship of Maori with their land needed greater definition and were an essential section of the Act.

ENDS

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