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

 

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news