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 Inquiry Into One Case Of Dirty Politics

Suddenly, we’re awash in inquiries and reviews. (It feels almost as if the Greens won the last election.) Caught out by the damning inquiry by SIS Inspector-General Cheryl Gwyn, the government’s response yesterday was utterly in character – it released two other major reports at the same time to try and distract public attention...

Inquiries are supposed to re-assure the public. What these inquiry outcomes share in common is a government culture of zero responsibility. More>>

IGIS ON SIS:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

White Ribbon Day: Govt Resumes Sexual Violence Trial Proceedings Work

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked the Law Commission to resume work on proposals for better supporting victims of sexual violence through the criminal process. The Law Commission will revisit its previous work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes to identify options for improving complainants’ experience in court. More>>

ALSO:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news