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RMA proposals promote more resource exploitation

28 February 2013

RMA proposals promote more resource exploitation

The National Government’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) would kneecap sustainability and weaken local councils, the Green Party said today.

Environment Minister Amy Adams today released a discussion document, ‘Improving our resource management system’ with Government proposals for major changes to the Resource Management Act.

“The National Government is opposed to sustainability and local democracy. These changes reflect that,” Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

“The proposals would encourage fast decisions and high impact development instead of sound decisions which involve the public and safeguard the environment.

“Removing the five environmental principles which are central to the Act’s sustainable management purpose shows a pro-business, anti-environment bias.

“Overturning more than 20 years of RMA case law about what sustainable management means will lead to more litigation not better solutions.

“The National Government is turning local councils into branch offices of central government. It wants to reduce the say of elected councillors by increasing Ministerial powers to direct councils to change their district and regional plans.

“Only four percent of resource consent applications were notified for public submissions in 2010/11. Further restricting notification will limit the public’s ability to influence developments which affect their community.

“Reducing the role of the Environment Court and restricting the scope of appeals would reduce access to justice and undermine public confidence in RMA decision making.

“New Zealanders love and value our distinctive landscapes and natural environment and want development which safeguards nature. These proposals strip away the basis for that.”

ENDS

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