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RMA Ammendment Bill Will Fail Unless Ammended

Federated Farmers resource management specialists today told the Environment and Local Government Select Committee that the controversial Resource Management Act Amendment Bill fails to address the fundamental issues that have seen costly implementation with little environmental benefit.

Vice President Tom Lambie told the committee that the present RMA should be improved, but that the proposed Bill would not only fail to make improvements, but simply not deliver the environmental outcome.

"Federated Farmers remains in support of the RMA. However, the federation has experienced the RMA at work across the country, and has a huge amount of knowledge about RMA failings. This Bill does not improve the original Act, and should not proceed unless its scope is broadened."

"Worst still, the original Act, and this proposed amendment if passed, will continue to divert time, money, and ultimately farmers' goodwill, away from positive environmental work such as pest control in regenerating bush."

"Farmers are the major funders of resource management administration through the local government rating system, contributing an estimated $15m per annum, and they are certainly looking for a better planning system."

"A massive failing of the RMA has been that it does not share the burden of environmental protection fairly between the private landowner and the community. This amendment continues that grievous injustice."

"Federated Farmers has suggested some alternative text that would provide a framework for treating landowners more equitably enable cost-sharing between parties."

"Farmers are stewards of the land and the environment. It is their home, their birthright and business investment. If New Zealand wants to have better environmental results, then it must have an environmental law that respects farmers, and shifts all interested parties - landowners, officials, and environmental groups - into using more co-operative methods.

"It is not a question of environmental values, but who pays for those values."
Ends

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