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

 


National's RMA Buzzword Bullshit

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Resource Management Act

National's RMA Buzzword Bullshit

National's Resource Management Act policy, released this week, is more than just a missed opportunity to help a parlous economic outlook, says Libertarianz environment spokesman Peter Cresswell: it almost amounts to a confidence trick.

While the world economy reels on the back of central-bank bungling and serious problems in the American housing sector, and as local building activity takes a nose-dive - building consent numbers are down by a third - a political party truly 'ambitious' for New Zealand might have grasped the opportunity to help an ailing economy and a struggling housing sector by releasing a bold new Resource Management Act policy that would take the weight of the RMA from the shoulders of struggling builders, home-buyers and property-owners.

"But that is not what National's Nick Smith has served up," says Cresswell.  "Smith's policy overflows instead with buzzwords like 'fix', 'streamline', and 'get business moving', but closer scrutiny demonstrates Smith's large print giveth, but his small print taketh away."

The RMA, introduced by National seventeen years ago, locks up land around the country's major cities, pushing up the price of new housing for new home-buyers.  There is nothing here to fix that. It removes from property-owners rights over their own land, including the common law right of recourse over pollution by neighbours or downstream polluters. There is nothing from Smith to alter that.  It gives large polluters a 'license to pollute', and the lengthy delays and seemingly arbitrary basis on which consents are granted makes it virtually impossible for producers to plan ahead, adding huge costs to every new project - costs which will still have to be passed on despite the decreasing ability of an ailing economy to pay for them.  "There is nothing here to alter that," says Cresswell, "except two new bureaucracies and a lot of buzzword bullshit."

There is nothing from National's new policy to put protection of New Zealanders' property rights at the heart of the Act.  In addition, there is:
Nothing to take power over your property away from planners and council bureaucrats ...
nothing that will make it easier for a builder to get a subdivision consent and lower the price of land to buyers ...
or for a supermarket owner to build a new supermarket in the face of a competitor ...
or a developer to build a new village in the face of council opposition.
Nothing to abolish the huge development levies that add thousands, and sometimes millions, to every private project in the country ...
nothing to increase the supply of suitable land available on which to build houses ...
nothing to remove from council planners the power to zone private land, and the power to set urban walls around New Zealand towns and cities.
In fact, there is nothing at all here, not when you scrutinise the fine print.

What it will do however is remove the major legislative impediment to 'Thinking Big' - requiring that projects Smith and his colleagues deem to be of 'national significance' be consented in nine months, or else.  "That won't help you or I get our projects built or our property rights protected, but it would allow a National government to steamroll over people's property rights to push through projects like the Waikato pylons.

Which all makes one thing very clear: They don't want to protect your property rights - they want to promote their ability to steamroller over them.  They don't want to make it easier for you to build - they only want to make it easier for them to build, using borrowed money.

"Taken together then," concludes Cresswell, "Smith's proposals are a mixture of irrelevant, meaningless, hopeless and more damaging - much like himself really. Nothing will be fundamentally altered. Nothing will fundamentally change."

Where we needed a stake driven through the heart of the RMA we got instead a fork-tongued performance that leaves planners, politicians and bureaucrats in the box seat, and producers and property-owners out in the cold," he concludes.  "And those are chill economic winds a-blowin'."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Northland By-Election

Supposedly, Winston Peters’ victory in Northland has exposed the simmering dissatisfaction with the government that exists out in the provinces. Yet it remains to be seen whether this defeat will have much significance – and not simply because if and when Labour resumes business as usual in the Northland seat at the next election, Peters’ hold on it could simply evaporate.

On Saturday, National’s electorate vote declined by 7,000 votes, as the 9,000 majority it won last September turned into a 4,000 vote deficit – mainly because Labour supporters followed the nod and wink given by Labour leader Andrew Little, and voted tactically for Peters. In the process, Labour’s vote went down from nearly 9,000 votes six months ago, to only 1,315 on Saturday. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news