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

 


Widespread concern over proposed RMA changes


Media Release – Sunday – 8 July 2012

Widespread concern over proposed Resource Management Act changes

There was widespread concern at the proposed changes to the Resource Management Act at the Environment and Conservation Organisations’ (ECO) Annual Conference which concluded today in Wellington.

ECO Spokesperson Barry Weeber said the changes proposed to the Act’s principles by the Technical Advisory Committee are a major assault on the protections for the environment under the Act, and are also likely to cause delays, confusion and increase costs.”ECO urges the Government not to accept these proposals.”

“The Principles are critical provisions of the Act. They set out the requirements to protect what is special and unique about New Zealand.”

“The principles in section 6 currently include the requirement for protection of outstanding natural features and landscapes, the protection of significant indigenous vegetation and habitats, and preservation of natural character and the maintenance and enhancement of public access.”

Mr Weeber said the TAG proposes to remove the requirements to protect, preserve or maintain and enhance key qualities of the environment. “They also propose to limit consideration to regionally significant values thus preventing national policy and standards of protection.”

“The group proposes removing the reference to intrinsic values of ecosystems, finite characteristics of resources, maintenance and enhancement of amenity values, and the ethic of stewardship.”

“The proposal to remove consideration intrinsic values show the TAG simply view the environment as a slave of people and ignores all that provide the wonder, beauty and inspiration from the environment.”

Barry Weeber said the proposed rewrite of the Principles of the Act would deeply wound environmental protection and was not required to strengthen the consideration of natural hazards under the Act.

“We agree with the need to consider natural hazards in Part II of the Act but this could be fixed with minor changes to the Act or the development of a national policy statement on national hazards.”

“Section 106 could be amended to make more explicit the ability of councils to refuse consents on land subject to liquefaction or similar earthquake effects.”

“These proposals will produce more uncertainty will and increase costs for all parties under the Act. If these proposals were adopted by Parliament they would throw out case law that has been developed over the last 20 years and result in a decade of uncertainty.”

Mr Weeber said ECO was surprised that the Government had not called for submissions on the TAG Report to get wide views of civil society. “The absence of a public process on an important public policy was deplored.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes:
1. Section 6 and 7 of the Resource Management Act sets out the Principles of Act.

2. Section 106 allows Councils to refuse subdivision consent in areas subject to natural hazards including: the land in respect of which a consent is sought, or any structure on the land, is or is likely to be subject to material damage by erosion, falling debris, subsidence, slippage, or inundation from any source

3. Section 6 Matters of national importance
In achieving the purpose of this Act, all persons exercising functions and powers under it, in relation to managing the use, development, and protection of natural and physical resources, shall recognise and provide for the following matters of national importance:
(a) the preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment (including the coastal marine area), wetlands, and lakes and rivers and their margins, and the protection of them from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development:
(b) the protection of outstanding natural features and landscapes from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development:
(c) the protection of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna:
(d) the maintenance and enhancement of public access to and along the coastal marine area, lakes, and rivers:
(e) the relationship of Maori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu, and other taonga:
(f) the protection of historic heritage from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development:
(g) the protection of protected customary rights.

4. Section 7. Other matters
In achieving the purpose of this Act, all persons exercising functions and powers under it, in relation to managing the use, development, and protection of natural and physical resources, shall have particular regard to—
(a) kaitiakitanga:
(aa) the ethic of stewardship:
(b) the efficient use and development of natural and physical resources:
(ba) the efficiency of the end use of energy:
(c) the maintenance and enhancement of amenity values:
(d) intrinsic values of ecosystems:
(f) maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment:
(g) any finite characteristics of natural and physical resources:
(h) the protection of the habitat of trout and salmon:
(i) the effects of climate change:
(j) the benefits to be derived from the use and development of renewable energy.

5. Natural hazards could simply include in section 7 by adding: “Managing the significant risks associated with natural hazards”.

6. The Minister for the Environment, Amy Adams stated in her speech to the Rio+20 UN meeting in Rio in June (Thursday, 21 June, 2012) that the “Best outcomes emerge when governments engage civil society.”

7. ECO is an organisation of about 55 member organisations with a shared concern for the environment and conservation. Established in 1972 after a late 1971 meeting of many different organisations, ECO comprises both environmental and conservation organisations, and other organisations who share the concern, but may have other purposes as well. Such other organisations include recreational and professional organisations and the National Council of Women. Our organisations may be location-based, species based, or activity or concern based. ECO also has several hundred Friends of ECO, largely individuals, but also a few corporate Friends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Trade Threat Rumours: PM Censures Trade Minister For 'Head Of A Pin' Answers

Prime Minister John Key has censured his newbie Trade Minister, Todd McClay, for "dancing on the head of a pin" in answers he gave to both Key and news media when first asked about alleged trade threats from China over steel imports. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The IOC’s Treatment Of Russian Sport, And Lone Wolf Terrorism

A blanket ban on Russian athletes would also have exposed the IOC to criticism that its treatment of Russia would have been marked contrast to its treatment say, of the track and field team from Kenya – a country about which the IOC has very similar doping concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Sounds Like A Plan: Auckland Council Receives Unitary Plan Recommendations

A key milestone in New Zealand planning history was reached today when the Independent Hearings Panel delivered the reports containing its recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

National Park Expansion: Forests And Coast Of Kahurangi Protected

Five parcels of high value land totalling more than 890 hectares have been formally gazetted as part of the National Park. More>>

ALSO:

PPP Go-Ahead: SkyPath Gets Unanimous Support

Auckland’s SkyPath project has been given the go-ahead to be delivered through a public private partnership, after a unanimous decision at today’s Finance and Performance Committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank, The UN Shortlist, And Trump

Can there really be there any link between the US presidential elections and yesterday’s RBNZ signals on interest rates and the NZ dollar? Well, maybe. And it would be this: the improving US economy is reportedly putting a tailwind behind the US dollar, and rendering the actions of our Reserve Bank virtually irrelevant. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Make NZ Make Again: Greens Will Establish A Minister For Manufacturing

The Green Party announced today that it will establish a Minister for Manufacturing in Cabinet, to better represent the interests of manufacturers and ensure they thrive. The Minister will be inside Cabinet and have responsibility for the long-term interests of the manufacturing sector. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news