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RMA reform must stop people gaming the system

The Government needs to give property owners their rights back and stop people manipulating the Resource Management Act to their advantage, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“The Government’s independent review of the RMA needs to usher in meaningful changes that will break down barriers to getting things built in this country.

“The fact the Government has worked out it can't get its own KiwiBuild developments going without changing the rules shows just how bad it is for everyone else.

“My concern is that by waiting so long to undertake this piece of work, the Government has left it too late in the electoral cycle to act on it. This suggests they aren’t confident of getting NZ First and the Greens on the same page.

“The last thing New Zealanders want or need is yet another working group that kicks an important issue to touch until after the next election.

“The RMA is no longer fit for purpose and is too easily gamed. One problem is businesses being able to stymie nearby business developments because they are anti-competitive.

“Another is developers trying to stop someone else's housing development from going ahead because they want to get their houses sold first, to get maximum value.

“The RMA stops things from being done quickly. People can fulfil every requirement put to them by councils and still go through a long-winded and expensive process.

“The law has become extremely tied up in red tape. It's an incredibly complex area that needs to return to what it was to begin with: enabling legislation.

“National is the party that gets stuff done. We are working on our own RMA reforms to take to the next election, which will make it quicker for developers to get properties to market, bringing down the price and making it easier for people to build houses.

“We are open to working with the Labour-led Government on this reform if it can present sensible solutions that will deliver New Zealand the infrastructure it needs.”

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