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National standards will improve RMA performance

15 July 2004 - Wellington

National standards will improve RMA performance

Forest and Bird welcomes the release of 14 national standards today as an important step forward in the administration of the Resource Management Act.

"These standards will create greater certainty for business and environmentalists, lift local government performance, improve consistency between councils, and help protect the national interest in New Zealand's clean green image," said Forest and Bird's Conservation Manager Kevin Hackwell.

"The release of these national standards shows how the Government can meet its objectives of increasing certainty, promoting the national interest and lifting local government performance without needing to amend the Resource Management Act," he said.

"We hope that this is just the first in a number of national initiatives to help promote sustainable management. Attention now needs to focus on national policy statements, increased use of the Minister for the Environment's call-in powers and standards to address New Zealand's badly polluted lowland streams and rivers and biodiversity loss," he said.

"Robust environmental standards for infrastructure would go a long way towards protecting the environment while providing certainty," he said.

"It's a pity that it has taken 13 years for this day to occur. Some of the politicians who most criticize the RMA today must take a significant share of the blame for this delay. The first national standards should have developed over a decade ago," he said.

"Environment Minister Marian Hobbs should be applauded for the development of these standards," he said.

ENDS

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