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

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news