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New RMA Won't Work say Landowners

Released 12 August 2004


A landowners' group says the proposed changes to the RMA will do nothing to loosen up the Resource Management log-jams in the Environment Court.

"Attacked Landowners" says the central problem slowing down cases is government or developers dumping the whole burden of a project on to a few local people, and expecting them to suffer in silence and without any compensation.

"To increase financial threats of court costs will not work. A family that has saved up to buy a nice place to live, paying extra for a pleasant place with nice neighbours, can suddenly find their community is split apart and their investment has dropped in value," said the group's spokesperson Lyn Milnes.

"Families are protecting their life savings, so they just have to fight." "Until you fix the central injustice, you won't fix the delays affecting the Resource Management Act," she said.

The "Attacked Landowners" group agrees some projects are nationally necessary, but wants the RMA re-written to include compensation for local families who carry the burden.

The group says there are two simple ways to fix the delays in the courts: either developers should compensate neighbours for loss of life-savings in their properties and social amenities, or they should be forced to buy them out and put a neutral buffer zone round their big project. The group has written to MP David Benson Pope to request this change in emphasis in the coming revision of the Resource Management Act.


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