National Government must ditch its extreme RMA changes
11 September 2013
Time for the National Government to ditch its extreme RMA changes
National does not have support to push through its extreme changes to undermine New Zealand’s environmental law, the Resource Management Act, and it should ditch them, Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said today.
This morning, the Maori Party and United Future leader Peter Dunne announced they had written to Environment Minister Amy Adams raising concerns that her planned changes interfere with the Resource Management Act’s goal of maintaining and enhancing the quality of the environment.
Also today, Fish and Game released legal analysis prepared by Sir Geoffrey Palmer, the architect of the Resource Management Act (RMA), in which he concludes the National Government’s proposed changes would weaken environmental protection provisions in the Act and are a major step backwards.
“The National Government has tried to con the public and Parliament into accepting changes that undermine our environmental law. They claimed it was about clarity and efficiency but no one is buying the spin,” Ms Sage said.
“The National Government should ditch its proposals which attack the heart of the RMA and its sustainable management purpose and principles. National’s changes will gut the RMA at the expense of our environment and local democracy.
“National has not been honest about the intent of its changes and we congratulate the Maori and United Future Parties for recognising what these changes will do.
“At this crucial time for New Zealand’s clean, green reputation, we need stronger environmental protection yet National is doing the opposite.
“National’s proposed changes will cause confusion and undermine existing case law. Its RMA changes are all about quick decisions, not sound and lasting answers.
“National’s approach to the environment is recklessly short-sighted. Our economy depends on the environment,” Ms Sage said
“There has been overwhelmingly opposition to National's proposals to undermine the sustainable management principles at the heart of the RMA at a series of public meetings that the Green Party has organised from Kerikeri to Invercargill.
“In Government the Green Party will reverse these changes if the National Government will not listen to reason,” Ms Sage said.