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

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.

In its original incarnation in the early 1970s, ACC had been a globally innovative “no fault” scheme whereby accident victims surrendered their right to sue those responsible – on the understanding that they would receive compensation at a level that, as Woodhouse famously stated, would be sufficient to enable accident victims to fully participate in social life... More>>

 

Parliament Today:

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:

IPCC: Many Pathways To Substantial Emissions Reductions Available

A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that global emissions of greenhouse gases have risen to unprecedented levels despite a growing number of policies to reduce climate change. Emissions grew more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in each of the three previous decades. More>>

ALSO:

Bowels: Green Light From Labour For Cancer Screening Programme

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. More>>

ALSO:

Dotcom Speaks To Mana AGM: Negotiations With The Internet Party To COntinue

The MANA AGM decided unanimously to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news