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


To See the Bill, click here

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Gordon Campbell: On Putin’s Diplomatic Coup Over Syria

    There’s a simple historical precedent for what is occurring in Syria. During WWII, the Allies joined forces with a known butcher and tyrant – Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union – in order to defeat a greater evil, Nazi Germany… More>>


    Key 'Didn't Know': Brownlee Seeks Pandas In China

    While Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee is in China pushing a taxpayer funded deal to bring two pandas to New Zealand, the country’s military look set to be hit with a pay freeze, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. More>>


    Scoop Business: GCSB Willing To Extend Cyber-Attack Programme To Local ISPs

    The Government Communications Security Bureau’s ‘Cortex’ cyber-security programme has been successful in helping identify and mitigate a series of cyber attacks since its introduction and an extension to cover local internet service providers is still on the cards... More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news