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

 


Resource Management Reform Bill needs changes

MEDIA RELEASE – For immediate use – 21 March 2012
Resource Management Reform Bill needs changes to achieve resource management ‘streamlining’
The New Zealand Law Society believes amendments are necessary for the Resource Management Reform Bill to achieve the government’s outlined objectives.

The stated purpose of the Bill is to streamline the resource consent regime and improve the Resource Management Act’s workability.

The Law Society presented its submission on the bill to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee yesterday.

“The Law Society is aware of concern within some sectors of the community that resource consent processes in particular take too long and are too expensive,” Law Society Environmental Law Committee convenor Margo Perpick says.

In its submission the Law Society recommends amendments to the Bill that would help to streamline the resource consent process “in the sense of making the resource consent process faster and more efficient, while improving – or at least not sacrificing – decision-making quality”.

The Law Society is concerned the bill’s proposed timeframes may reduce the quality of information presented to Hearings Panels.

“If the proposed timeframes are adhered to strictly then Consent Hearings Committees are likely to be faced with reports and evidence from parties that are quite unsatisfactory in terms of accuracy and quality,” Ms Perpick says.

At present the bill proposes to extend the time limit for notification from 10 to 20 working days while reducing the time limit within which a hearing on a non-notified application must commence, from 25 working days following the closing date for submissions to 35 working days after the date of the application was first lodged with the consent authority.

“This will shorten the length of time affected parties have to prepare evidence and presents a considerable risk that decisions will be made incorrectly, leaving the parties to resort to the appeal process to correct such decisions with the presentation of accurate and good quality evidence,” Ms Perpick says.

“This would not be consistent with the aim of the bill to improve the quality of local decision-making.”

The Law Society is also concerned that the new appeal processes in the bill could impact on the right to a fair hearing.

“The structure of the new appeal process is a significant departure from the current way in which appeal rights in relation to resource management issues are dealt with,” Ms Perpick says.

The provisions in the bill will remove the full right of appeal to the Environment Court for a submitter on a Hearings Panel decision, while the Council is given the ability to reject the Panel’s recommendations, even though it would not have heard the evidence presented to the Panel, the Law Society submission says.

“This would generally be considered to be a serious breach of the rules of natural justice,” Ms Perpick says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The National Leadership “Contest”

Key’s endorsement of English has turned this “contest” into a race for second place.

This succession was well planned. Lets not forget that English was told by Key in September of his intention to resign, and English was the only member of Cabinet entrusted with that information before it was sprung on everyone else on Monday morning. More>>

Latest: Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman have withdrawn from the leadership race, leaving Bill English the only candidate to replace John Key as Prime Minister.

 

Education, Marketing, Taxes: Health Groups Call For Actions For Sugary Drinks

The New Zealand Dental Association is launching a new consensus statement on Sugary Drinks endorsed by key health organisations. The actions seek to reduce harm caused by sugary drinks consumption. More>>

ALSO:

More Departures? David Shearer Proposed For UN Peacekeeping Role

Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Security Agencies' Reports: GCSB Wants To Give ISPs More Power To Block Threats

The Government Communications Security Bureau wants to give internet service providers more information and power to block cyber threats which are increasing, its director told the intelligence and security select committee yesterday.. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Charter Schools Misleading Pass Rates

Labour: NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated... In one case a school reported a 93.3 per cent pass rate when the facts show only 6.7 per cent of leavers achieved NCEA level two. More>>

ALSO:

Rebstock Report Resolution: SSC Apologises To Derek Leask And Nigel Fyfe

Following a complaint by Mr Leask, the Ombudsman found that the State Services Commission acted unreasonably in relation to Mr Leask and identified numerous deficiencies in the investigation process and in the publication of the final report and in the criticisms it contained of Mr Leask... More>>

ALSO:

International Rankings: Student Results 'Show More Resourcing Needed'

NZEI: New Zealand had only held relatively steady in international rankings in some areas because the average achievement for several other OECD countries had lowered the OECD average -- not because our student achievement has improved. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Salvation Army Report: Beyond The Prison Gate Report

A new Salvation Army report says changes must be made to how prisoners re-enter society for New Zealanders to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Surprise Exit: Gordon Campbell On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news