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Be open - show us your pre Christmas bills Mr Key

4 November 2008 Media Statement

Be open - show us your pre Christmas bills Mr Key

"National Leader John Key must show the public his planned Resource Management reform bill so voters can see how they would be cut out of consultation on projects under a National-Act government," Labour's environment spokesman Trevor Mallard said today.

"Mr Key has told reporters that he would introduce a bill amending the RMA before Christmas, as well as bills on law and order and tax. Why won't he make those bills public so the public can see what his plans really are? Why won't National give people any detail about their RMA plans? What is the party hiding? If it has nothing to hide, then it should show voters its bill.

"Other plans for his first 100 days include implementing "agreed" national education standards. Besides the fact we already have education assessments for children that work perfectly well, how on earth is Mr Key going to get "agreed" standards in a 100 day timeframe when no details have been seen.

"Nothing National has said so far, explains how they would preserve public input into applications for big developments under the RMA as part of their nine month fast-tracking process. And that's because public input can not be preserved under National's proposals – they are just too scared to tell you that," Trevor Mallard said.

"With Roger Douglas and ACT's policy on the RMA blended into a National-Act government's plans, the public won't have any hope of being consulted. It's bad enough with Nineties man Maurice Williamson as Transport Minister, as he has said priority roads would be exempt from the RMA entirely.

"Labour believes in protecting the public's right to have a say and be consulted about proposed major developments in their regions and towns. Regardless of the merits of a project, people should not be gagged and stopped from voicing their own positions of opposition or support, as National intends.

"National has also confirmed the party intends to allow courts to force neighbours to pay a bond, in order to appeal decisions around developments in their neighbourhoods and regions – something Labour got rid of. This proposed move by National would act as a major deterrent for community groups and individuals wishing to have a say – they would be up against developers with deep pockets.


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