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Nick Smith lies again

6 September 2006

Nick Smith lies again

Environment Minister David Benson-Pope said today National MP Nick Smith was once more resorting to lies about the Resource Management Act.

"Contrary to Dr Smith's claims, the recent Mood of the Boardroom Survey did not say that the RMA was the number one impediment to productivity. It effectively asked respondents if they would make more profit if they had unfettered access to resources; an absurdly one-sided question with only one obvious answer.

"A more sensible question would have been whether CEOs thought the RMA achieves a balance between economic development and environmental sustainability. Most people believe it does," Mr Benson-Pope said.

"As for Dr Smith's claims about the IMD Survey, it would have been more helpful and honest for him to have pointed out that the same survey ranked New Zealand ninth in the world for ease of doing business", Mr Benson-Pope said. "This is in keeping with the latest World Bank report Doing Business, which ranks New Zealand first in the world in ease of doing business and second in terms of dealing with consents and licences.

"In addition, the government report on geothermal research that Mr Smith referred to does not say that energy companies are unable to tap into renewable energy. Nor does it say that geothermal power options are being blocked," Mr Benson-Pope said.

"The report merely speculates on the different implications for intellectual property when comparing a mineral exploration or a resource consenting regime," Mr Benson-Pope said. "No evidence was cited to support the speculation.

"The Labour-led Government has made significant improvements to the RMA, a piece of legislation that protects our environment, enables economic growth, and reinforces New Zealand's clean green and image internationally," Mr Benson-Pope said. "Nick Smith can't attack this success, so he tells lies instead.

"Does Nick Smith realise the damage he does to this country's international reputation with his misleading statements?"

ENDS

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