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Call To Reduce Environment Court Workload

Call For Government To Reduce Environment Court Workload

Media Release

Wednesday 3 Dec 2003

From: David Parkinson, Property Investor/Developer

Call for Government to reduce Environment Court workload

Christchurch property investor/developer David Parkinson, is calling on the Minister for the Environment Marion Hobbs, to consider opportunities for improving processes and practice under the RMA, with a specific focus on reducing the workload in the Environment Court.

He is asking the Minister to consider the need for possible additional resourcing of the Environment Court, hopeful this may improve the timeliness of decision making that he says can take up to 7 months.

He said, "The Resource Management Act (RMA) processing costs & delays are often the trigger for discontent with RMA Business Compliance costs. Just as Councils should be made accountable for failure to meet statutory timeframes, he is asking the Minister to consider the reasonableness of significant costs incurred by applicants resulting from lengthy delays with notification of Environment Court decisions."

Between 27 August and 6 September 2002, the Ministry for the Environment held five meetings around the country talking with central government agencies, local government (mainly regional councils) and a wide range of sectors and organisations in: Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch. Of the 700 people and organisations invited, about 350 people participated.

The objective of the meetings was a review of Ministry priorities and functions as they sought input into finding ways to be more effective while being spread less thinly. http://www.mfe.govt.nz/about/review/

David Parkinson said, "Interestingly, some people that attended last year's meetings, expressed concerns associated with the timeliness of decision making from local government. Whilst this may be the case some of the time, he is asking the Minister to focus her attention on the decision making process that rests with Environment Court."


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