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RMA Review Will Waste Time And Money

May 12, 2004 - Wellington

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE

RMA review will waste time and money

Forest and Bird today said that tinkering with the Resource Management Act (RMA) is not the way to improve its administration. Forest and Bird said that the Government should stop wasting money on yet another RMA amendment and instead get on with providing leadership to those councils that are struggling with its implementation.

"Yet again the Government appears to be barking up the wrong tree. The problems with the RMA lies with under-resourced councils and a lack of national leadership," said Forest and Bird's Environmental Lawyer Kate Mitcalfe.

"The Government has made noticeable improvements to the administration of the RMA by halving the Environment Court's backlog over the last two years. This didn't need a law change - it needed proper funding and improvements in Court administration," she said.

"It is disappointing that the Government did not see fit to consult over the terms of the review and has instead presented the community with a fait accompli," she said.

"Now the Government is wasting time and money on yet another tinkering. Ministry for the Environment staff would be better directed at the development of national standards that would give business, community and environmental interests greater certainty," she said.

"Forest and Bird welcomes the Government's commitment to upholding the purpose and principles of the RMA. Anything less would threaten New Zealand's greatest asset- its environment," she said.

Note:

Forest and Bird is New Zealand's largest NGO practitioner of resource management law and has been involved in resource management law for over 30 years. Through Forest and Bird's involvement significant environmental gains have been achieved that have benefited the whole community.

Forest and Bird recently published its second edition of the Handbook of Environmental Law


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