Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Flavell: Resource Mangmt (Security for Costs) Bill

Resource Management (Security for Costs) Amendment Bill

Te Ururoa Flavell, Maori Party Spokesperson for Environment

Wednesday 14 June 2006

The Maori Party is speaking to the Resource Management (Security for Costs) Amendment Bill informed by our understanding of CIR.

That’s not CIR for Citizen Initiated Referendum - although that certainly would not be such a bad idea.

It’s CIR for Cultural Impact Reporting - as defined under the fourth schedule of the Resource Management Act 1991.

In this section, the requirements for assessing environmental effects are set out. Cultural Impact Reporting looks at the spiritual or cultural or other special values for present or future generations.

What the Resource Management (Security for Costs) Amendment Bill

does in effect, is to add a new layer of costs to an already expensive process - the process of taking a case against a company.

The Bill will require that claimants can sign that they are able to put up the money before the case can go to Court.

And it’s not small change.

The cultural impact assessment of this new provision then, is that if we are seriously committed to due process, to ensure all people receive a fair hearing in front of the law, then this Bill does nothing to enhance that right.

The Resource Management Act 1991 states that " the relationship of Maori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu and other taonga" is a matter of national importance which councils must recognise and provide for.

A matter of national importance - which with this amendment Bill would never see the light of day through prohibitive costs.

It is a matter of national importance, a matter of natural justice, and a matter of environmental equity that demands we oppose this Bill.

There are two other factors that have emerged through our cultural impact assessment of this Bill.

Firslty, the issue of irrelevance.

The purpose of the Bill is to “limit the vexatious and frivolous objections to applications for development”.

Yet in a search of the environmental rulings between 1998 to 2003, we have unearthed two, and only two, instances which one could define as either vexatious and frivolous.

This can’t be right, we thought, so we approached the Ministry for the Environment.

We were told, quite clearly, that they have not undertaken any assessment, let alone a cultural impact assessment, of how many cases could fall into the vexatious and frivolous category. Their response was that, at its best, estimates could only be anecdotal.

The issue of relevance being discounted, we thus turn to the issue of necessity.

And what we found was that the RMA Amendment Act 2005, actually, makes this new Bill redundant.

There is a clause in the RMA Amendment Act which will prevent such cases getting to Court by the direct intervention of local bodies. This will come into force in August 2007.

Section 41C of the principal Act is amended by the addition of specific subsections, including the new section 41C (5) which direct that a submission can be struck out if the submission or part of it is frivolous or vexatious.

The costs of litigation are already adversely impacting upon a group of people who are already over-represented amongst communities where poverty is endemic.

‘Security for costs’ can be understood as yet another clever construct of the Crown to constrain tangata whenua from their right to challenge developments.

Sitting alongside other local government situations where Maori are being prevented from doing their own developments, it is at the very least a case of dé jà vu, or worse yet, another instance of racism.

Putting it another way, we wonder if the mere presentation of the Resource Management (Security for Costs) Amendment Bill is actually the real legislation that is both frivolous and vexatious.

The Maori Party will not be supporting this Bill.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election