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RMA plans would clear path for transmission lines

17 May 2005 Nats'

RMA plans would clear path for transmission lines

The National Party should admit to Waikato farmers that its plans to gut the RMA will strip away any say they have on Transpower's giant transmission lines, says the Green Party's Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.

Ms Fitzsimons' challenge follows Piako MP Lindsay Tisch finally breaking the Nats' silence on the issue after the route for the proposed mega-lines was announced over the weekend. Mr Tisch made no mention of the RMA, which allows communities such as those in his electorate to object to such projects.

"Lindsay Tisch's belated statement was too little, too late; Waikato farmers know full well that their local National MPs have been missing-in-action in the battle against Transpower," said Ms Fitzsimons, the Green Party's Energy and Environment Spokesperson.

"Farmers should now be asking Don Brash whether he supports them using the RMA's consent processes to defend their interests or not.

"Clearly the Waikato Nat MPs have kept a low profile on the lines issue because they know their leadership's plans for the RMA would sweep away their rural voters' only defence.

"Traditionally many farmers have been hostile to the Resource Management Act because they perceive that it gets in the way of their business. But as members of threatened communities, landowners in the path of these giant pylons will now be recognising that Don Brash's plan to dismember the RMA is clearly not in their interest.

"Given National's inability to see beyond its own short-term interests, Mr Tisch's call for a 50-year plan for energy is laughable. If Brash and co were capable of seeing half a century into the future - beyond Peak Oil and the leading edge of serious Climate Change - they would recognise that the Greens' plan for distributed and renewable power generation, direct use of gas, industrial use of waste wood and much greater energy efficiency is the only feasible alternative,' said Ms Fitzsimons.

ENDS

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