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RMA proposals will worsen climate change

RMA proposals will worsen climate change

A coalition of environment, energy, public health and resource management organisations is calling on the Government to abandon proposed changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that will undermine New Zealand's efforts to address climate change and betray low-lying Pacific nations.

"The proposed changes are irresponsible economics and will foist polluting industries onto unwilling communities," said Ian Shearer, spokesperson for the Climate Defence Network.

"Robert Muldoon wanted to make it easier for major projects to get planning permission and gave us Think Big and the National Development Act. Those days appear to be returning," he said.

"Proposals to add a national interest clause into the RMA and speed up RMA processes for major projects are just a modern form of the National Development Act. This will just encourage more climate, health and environment damaging developments like coal mining, thermal power stations and unnecessary motorways," he said. "At a recent meeting, officials were unable to provide any evidence of why the changes were needed. In fact, the evidence suggests that New Zealand's compliance costs are moderate by international standards and are not a barrier to responsible development," he said.

"This week, Nelson MP Nick Smith campaigned against the RMA claiming it needed to be changed to allow an upgrade of transmission lines at the top of the South Island. Transpower, the company that maintains the lines rejected this claim. The campaign against the RMA is based on misinformation, anecdote and distortion," he said.

"Applications for wind farms in the Wairarapa and Manawatu have gained permission without difficulty. Climate friendly generation, properly located faces few barriers under the RMA," he said.

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