Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


"Think Big 2" RMA Bill shuts out public

2 December 2004

"Think Big 2" RMA Bill shuts out public

The Government wants to fundamentally change the Resource Management Act to shut the public out.

"It will do this by allowing central government to override local decision making and by giving new powers to local authorities to shut out the public," said Forest and Bird's Conservation Manager Kevin Hackwell responding to the major law change tabled in Parliament today.

"Local communities need to organise in opposition to the Resource Management Amendment Bill or face losing important rights. The new powers will force major infrastructure proposals onto unwilling local communities," he said.

"When the review was announced, the Government told the public that it was just a 'tune up' and that they would protect 'good environmental outcomes' and 'public participation'. Instead the Government has tabled an amazing 'Think Big' power grab, he said.

"The new powers will enable the Government to fast-track major projects like hydro-electricity schemes, transmission lines, coal mines and new prisons," he said.

The Resource Management Amendment Bill:

* Gives Central Government wider powers to fast-track major projects * Prevents the Environment Court from hearing appeals on fast-tracked major projects * Gives Central Government new powers to force rewrites of district and regional plans against the wishes of local communities and district and regional councils * Scales back the Environment Court's role in decision making * Creates new powers that partisan local authorities will be able to use to undermine and strike out submissions * Does not give submitters the right to appeal abuses of these new processes.

"Yesterday, the Environment Court slated the Hastings District Council for taking an 'uncompromisingly partisan' approach in favour of billionaire Julian Robertson's proposed development at Cape Kidnappers," Mr Hackwell said.

"The Environment Court only had the chance to overturn the Hastings District Council because the community was able to be involved in the process. Under the proposed changes, the Council could simply have booted objectors out of the process," he said.

"The Government should not be introducing new RMA powers for local authorities at a time when some councils cannot be trusted to act impartially. The proposal to allow council hearing panels to strike out submissions from objectors is completely unacceptable while councils act in a partisan manner," he said.

"Landowners affected by the controversial proposed North Island electricity upgrade could be the first to feel the brunt of central government's new 'Think Big' fast-track powers. The upgrade of transmission lines into Auckland was named on the list of 39 possible candidates for non-local decision making in a draft Ministry for the Environment paper on the RMA Review in June 2004," he said.

"If the Government powers in this Bill are used for the Auckland electricity transmission upgrade, local landowners affected by the proposed upgrade will lose their rights to appeal designations over their land in the Environment Court," he said.

More detailed analysis of the Bill will follow.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news