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10 Years Of The RMA

October 1, 2001

10 Years Of The RMA - Progress In Environmental Protection

The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society today celebrated the tenth birthday of the Resource Management Act (RMA).

"This world-leading legislation has made a positive difference to the New Zealand environment," said Eric Pyle, Forest and Bird's Conservation Manager. "Examples of environmental improvements under the RMA include protection of a number of significant areas, dumps cleaned up and better sewerage treatment systems developed."

With the clean green image becoming increasingly important to New Zealand's prosperity, it is important to have strong environmental legislation. "One sector of New Zealand could ruin the clean green image for everybody," said Mr Pyle. "Our clean green image is a key asset. We need to look after it and the RMA helps do this."

Forest and Bird acknowledges that there are some problems with the implementation of the RMA. "These implementation problems are directly attributable to successive Governments not providing sufficient guidance and assistance to councils," said Mr Pyle. "Governments have been unwilling to effectively fund the implementation of the RMA and have tried to fix implementation problems by amending the legislation. The RMA does not need major surgery. It has just needed a more effective implementation programme."

Forest and Bird welcomes the recent initiatives to improve the implementation of the RMA, including increased funding for the Environment Court, greater assistance for councils, funding assistance to landowners and development of a National Policy Statement on biodiversity. "These initiatives should help with the implementation of the RMA. But more resourcing may be needed to make the RMA work efficiently, for it to be effective in protecting New Zealand's clean green image and for it to deliver good environmental outcomes," said Mr Pyle.

"Let's celebrate the first ten years of the RMA. Let's aim for even more effective implementation for the next ten years," said Mr Pyle. "Let's ensure that our environment - a key asset for New Zealand - is well looked after."

Ends

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