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Fish & Game endorses Govt's comprehensive overhaul of RMA

Fish & Game endorses Govt's comprehensive overhaul of the RMA

Fish & Game New Zealand endorses Environment Minister David Parker’s announcement that he is consulting on a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

"Fish & Game welcomes any discussion on environmental laws that will help better protect what we hold dear," Fish & Game New Zealand Chief Executive Martin Taylor says.

"The public wants our rivers and streams to be clean and safe for swimming, fishing and gathering food. It's our role to fight for the health of our waterways so our children's children can catch a fish in our rivers.

"The RMA was a significant step forward for resource management in New Zealand. However, it is underperforming in the management of critical environmental issues, such as freshwater.

"We agree it is time to discuss if the RMA should be split into two separate laws - a planning act and an environmental protection act.

"However, it is incredibly vital that the case law and legal precedents that have helped clarify the environmental protections in the RMA are not unnecessarily discarded. There are also key parts of the RMA which we see as untouchable and will fight to preserve.

"Overall, New Zealand's resource management system is not broken. But its has allowed regional councils, who are responsible for its administration, to ignore their responsibilities.

"The recent Environment Aotearoa report confirmed this by revealing that regional councils have failed to fulfil their legal obligations under the RMA to protect the environment for future generations.

"This has happened because some regional councils, like Horizons have promoted and protected agricultural interests over the environment for decades. This needs to change. The review must stipulate how regional councils will be held to account for such decisions.

"We look forward to working with the Government to finalise the terms of reference. Fish & Game New Zealand will work constructively and collaboratively with the Government as this review is carried out."


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