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

 


Changes to RMA will undermine environmental protection

7 November 2012

Government changes to RMA will undermine environmental protection

The National Government is actively undermining environmental protection and looks likely to obstruct local councils seeking to safeguard water quality, the Green Party said today.

Primary Industries Minister David Carter this morning signalled the Government’s intention to amend the RMA to make it harder for councils to use plan rules to protect the environment by controlling nutrient leaching to waterways.

“The Government should not be pressuring councils to abdicate their responsibility under the RMA to protect our environment,” said Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“Changing the RMA to impose a more onerous cost benefit (s32) test on councils whenever they are considering policies and rules to control the impacts of agricultural intensification would be a further obstacle to cleaning up our rivers and lakes, and to safeguarding our aquifers.

“There is a pattern – National is amending the RMA, gutting the ETS, it forced the Department of Conservation to vote against protecting Maui’s dolphins from extinction, and it has cancelled comprehensive environmental reporting. Now it intends to stymie the belated action by councils to control intensive agriculture.

“This Government doesn’t care about the environment and doesn’t want it getting in the way of its unsustainable development agenda.

“Minister Carter’s criticism of the Environment Court’s modest efforts on the Manawatu One Plan to safeguard rivers from excess nutrients signals that the National Government does not care about protecting our rivers, lakes and aquifers.

“If the Minister wants a productive and profitable farming sector he should be seeking to protect the environment on which it depends.

“The Environment Court’s robust decision in the One Plan case showed that farming should not be at the expense of the environment. As the Court said: ‘.. we conclude that the economic costs for a majority of farms will be manageable across a span of years, and thoroughly justified by the desired outcome..’ (para 5-174) and ‘there is nothing that gives farmers a privileged place in the scheme of things.’ (para 5-176).

“MAF, now part of MPI, previously withdrew its submission against the Manawatu One Plan.

“This is recidivist behaviour from a Ministry which can’t accept that we need limits to intensive agriculture and that a profitable agricultural sector relies on a healthy environment.

“This Government’s one eyed focus on agricultural intensification is at the expense of the environment and water quality,” said Ms Sage


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Anne Tolley’s
Callous Folly

Years ago, I remember someone in the Heath Ministry telling me off the record that regulatory oversight in this country largely consisted in ‘waiting for something to turn green or fall off somebody’ before the authorities would swing into action...

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

 

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Housing MPs: New Building(s) For Parliament

A new building will be erected on Parliament grounds to house Members of Parliament and their staff who currently work in leased accommodation in Bowen House. The plan has cross-Party support, apart from NZ First, said Parliament’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news