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Horizons Regional Council Proposed ‘One Plan’

4 July 2008
For immediate release

Horizons Regional Council Proposed ‘One Plan’

Rural Women New Zealand is calling for less bureaucracy and a back-to-basics approach in response to Horizons Regional Council’s proposed ‘One Plan’. The Regional Council is currently hearing submissions on the Plan, which could set in place far-reaching restrictions on the use of rural land.

Rural Women New Zealand spokesperson, Margaret Millard says, “If local government wants to be of assistance to rural communities, a less hidebound and wasteful bureaucracy would be a good start.”

Rural Women New Zealand says Horizons Regional Council’s resources should be focused on basic infrastructure issues rather than non-specific environmental outcomes where the costs are clear but the benefits are not.
“If Horizons Regional Council were to focus on its core activities, it could substantially cut both expenditure and rates, which would make the region a more attractive place for farming families and for the wider community,” says Millard.

Horizons Regional Council needs to exercise caution and fiscal prudence before implementing any unnecessarily burdensome and impractical regulatory processes and activities, Rural Women New Zealand says.

In its submission, Rural Women New Zealand has called for the proposed One Plan to be amended so that only activities causing significant adverse effects are captured by the regulations.

“For the good of the community, the Council needs to avoid basing its decisions on pessimistic precautionary predictions. It should confine its regulatory controls to actual and demonstrable significant adverse effects.”

In addition Rural Women New Zealand believes Horizons Regional Council does not have the resources to provide practical, cost effective and timely delivery of the Whole Farm Business Plans (WFBP) scheme, which is a cornerstone of the proposed One Plan.

“All references in the rules that express or imply the compulsory imposition of WFBPs as a condition of consent need to be deleted,” says Millard. “Unless the One Plan is amended appropriately, rural communities are in danger of being stifled by regulation without knowledge, ending in rhetoric before results and systems before people”.

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