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

 


Another set of amendments to the Resource Management Act

Media Release: Another set of amendments to the Resource Management Act

The Environmental Defence Society has noted that the Government has introduced further amendments to the Resource Management Act and related legislation today.

“The Resource Management Reform Bill is extensive and was expected. It deals in large part with machinery matters but there are substantive changes some of which look acceptable and some of which are clearly controversial and will need detailed analysis,” said Mr Taylor.

“The uncontroversial changes include creating a faster track for mid-sized resource consents which is consistent with the Government’s intention of streamlining the implementation of the RMA.

“Other provisions deal with the creation of the Auckland Unitary Plan and were well signalled. The plan will be subject to a single hearing before an independent panel of experts with appeals available only on points of law, unless the Auckland Council rejects the panel’s recommendations, in which case parties will be able to appeal to the Environment Court.

“We do however think that Auckland Council should appoint the Panel, not Ministers, since it is Auckland’s plan and ratepayers are meeting all the costs.

“There is a new requirement to have regard to the Auckland Plan when preparing the Unitary Plan which is sensible.

“The Government is also proposing changes to section 32 which requires a cost-benefit analysis of all proposed plan provisions. The new section 32 retains the requirement to assess whether the objectives of a plan are the most appropriate way to achieve the purpose of the Act. It also contains useful amendments such as a requirement for the analysis to be made available as soon as practicable or at the time of public notification of the planning document.

“However, the proposed section does emphasise economic development, including a specific requirement to identify and assess the effects on economic growth and employment.

“The most controversial changes would further restrict the ability of Councils to protect significant urban trees. The Bill overrules an Environment Court decision in 2011 and requires tree protection rules in plans to identify individual trees or a cluster, grove, or line of trees in a schedule to the plan by street address and/or legal description of the land.

“This is imposing a massively bureaucratic responsibility on Councils and not all of them will have the capacity to carry out this exercise.

“Eighty seven percent of New Zealanders live in urban areas and trees contribute significantly to amenity values in the urban environment. The proposed amendments make it hugely difficult to protect urban trees and would be a step towards a future of barren, lifeless cities. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of opposition to these changes.

“Our expectation is that more controversial changes to the RMA will follow, including proposals relating to sections 6 & 7 (which contain the key principles of the RMA). We’re expecting a discussion paper on these topics to be released in 2013. There is real concern that those proposals might significantly weaken the Act and lower our environmental standards,” Mr Taylor concluded

ENDS

To See the Bill, click here

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Land Swap: Setback For Ruataniwha Scheme As Forest & Bird Wins Appeal

The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society has won an appeal against a proposed land swap by the Department of Conservation which would have allowed 22 hectares of Ruahine Forest Park be flooded as part of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme that will provide irrigation for farmers. More>>

ALSO:

Up: Official July Crime Stats Released

Official crime statistics for July 2016 show that Police recorded 11,171 more victimisations than the same period last year, which equates to a 2.3 per cent increase. More than three quarters of this increase can be attributed to burglaries. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Judith Collins Charm Offensive

Suddenly, Judith Collins is everyone’s new best friend. It isn’t an election year, but the Corrections/Police Minister is treating 2016 as an opportunity for a political makeover… Feel that the Police don’t attend burglaries often enough, or assiduously enough? She’s the peoples’ champ on that one. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>

ALSO:

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
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news