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

 


Government Should Listen to Reason On RMA

Embargoed till 8am 27 May 2013

27 May 2013

Government Should Listen to Reason On RMA

The Government needs to listen to reason and back pedal on its proposed changes to Part 2 of the Resource Management Act (RMA), said the Green Party today.

“National’s proposed changes weaken the RMA and are anti-environment,” Green Party environment spokesperson, Eugenie Sage said today.

“The changes will make it harder for people to have a say and will mean much less attention is paid to the environment in decision making under the Act.”

One of the RMA’s principal architects, Sir Geoffrey Palmer today warned that the Government’s changes to Part 2 would “significantly and severely weaken the ability of the RMA to protect the natural environment and its recreational enjoyment by all New Zealanders.”

This follows a similar warning by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment that the changes would turn the RMA into an act which promoted economic development ahead of the environment.

“Part 2 of the RMA is the heart and engine room of the Act,” Ms Sage said.

“It defines sustainable management - meeting human needs while safeguarding the natural environment.

“National’s proposed changes to Part 2 of the RMA are about making it easier for mining, drilling and irrigation interests. They reflect the anti-environment thrust of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda with its focus on resource exploitation,” Ms Sage said.

“There is no substantive evidence that the RMA obstructs development.”

The Ministry for the Environment’s own survey shows that:

·        more than 99% of more than 36,000 resource consents considered by local authorities each year are approved;

·        95% are processed in accordance with the Act’s timeframes;

·        94% of consents are not notified for public submissions;

·        Only one per cent (350 per year) consent applications are appealed to the Environment Court and 99.9% of cases are settled without a hearing in the Environment Court.”

“The proposed changes cut across 20 years of resource management case law and practice as to what the sustainable management, the purpose of the Act means, said Ms Sage. 

“This will create more, not less certainty in how the Act is applied.

“When the quality of our natural environment continues to decline with increased water pollution and biodiversity loss, nature needs more, not less, attention in RMA decision making.”

Note: The Green Party has organised a “Stand Up for the Environment- Protect Our Law” tour with public meetings in Hamilton, Nelson and Invercargill last week, a meeting in Palmerston North this week and other regional centres in June.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And
Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the Resource Management Act.

Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing, which happens to be another of the government’s most contentious, most ideologically-driven policy packages. Presumably, Key will be trying not to double down on the rhetoric, and thereby leave room for Labour leader Andrew Little to sound like the centrist voice of reason.

Key will have his work cut out, though. More>>

 

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news