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Improvements to RMA set to enter Parliament

Improvements to Resource Management Act set to enter Parliament

Legislation setting out a comprehensive package of improvements to the working of the Resource Management Act (RMA) will be introduced to Parliament tomorrow, says Associate Environment Minister David Benson-Pope.

Mr Benson-Pope says the new Bill, known as the Resource Management and Electricity Legislation Amendment Bill, is about improving the operation of the RMA. The Bill is also being used to make two technical amendments to the Electricity Act 1992.

The House will be asked today to suspend Standing Order 259, so that the Bill may be introduced tomorrow as an omnibus bill. This is because there are no obvious upcoming legislative vehicles for the Electricity Act amendments and this is the most rational and sensible approach.

"The changes to the RMA focus on improving the quality of decisions and processes by increasing certainty, reducing costs and delays, and improving processes," says Mr Benson-Pope. "We are committed to protecting and preserving the unique aspects of New Zealand's natural environment. That means striking the right balance between our desire for a clean, healthy environment with our expectations for growth and opportunity.

"Changes to both Acts relate to decision-making processes for infrastructure and so it makes sense to consider them together," he said.

"The RMA is an important environmental safeguard. We've got a number of timely, sensible and well thought out solutions to make it work better for all New Zealanders. We are taking action to reduce delays, eliminate unnecessary costs and ensure full opportunities for participation by affected parties."

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