National admits environmental failure
Environment Minister Simon Upton has admitted that the Government is reluctant to play its part in implementing the Resource Management Act adequately, Labour's environment spokesperson DianneYates said today.
The Minister told the transport and environment select committee that the Government had not exercised its role of giving local authorities guidance on interpreting the RMA since the Act was passed in 1991. He said the ministry is working on a national biodiversity policy statement but completion of that work is some years away.
"When I asked the Minister why he had not instigated national policy statements to guide councils under the RMA, he said he was not keen on such statements and thought environmental standards were a better idea. But he has made no environmental standards either," Dianne Yates said.
"National policy statements and environmental standards are fundamental to making the RMA work. That is how the Government can guide councils in using the RMA. Most of the problems people have encountered with resource management issues come back to the Government's failure to give this guidance.
"The next Labour Government will make national policy statements and environmental standards a priority, to assist nation-wide consistency in the administration of the Act."