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Maori Party RMA Deal Breaches Its Own Environment Policy

Maori Party RMA Deal Breaches Its Own Environment Policy

The Maori Party’s deal with National over reforms to resource management breach the party’s own policy to work towards a GE-Free New Zealand, the Soil & Health Association says.

“The agreement includes giving the Environment Minister new powers to override councils who want to declare their territories GE-Free through local planning rules,” says Soil & Health Association spokesperson Karen Summerhays.

“But this breaches the Maori Party’s Environment and Energy Efficiency Priorities commitment (attached) to ‘work towards achieving a GE-Free New Zealand’.

“The Maori Party’s own factsheet on its deal (attached) boasts it won greater participation for Maori in resource management through iwi participation agreements – or Mana Whakahono ā Rohe agreements – with ‘no trade-offs’.

“However, the factsheet fails to mention it has traded away the democratic right of local communities to stop the introduction of genetically modified crops in their areas.

“Either the Maori Party is naïve or it is trying to hide the fact that mana whenua, ratepayers and local producers will pay the price for their deal.

“Under clause 360D of the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill – also known as the ‘dictator clause’ – Nick Smith will be able to use these powers if he deems the council’s plans duplicate central Government laws.

“The Environment Minister insists that genetic modification should be regulated on a national level by the Environmental Protection Authority under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO), not under the Resource Management Act.

“His view has now been found wrong by both the Environment Court and the High Court.

“Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox needs to explain why her party is supporting Nick Smith’s power grab,” Karen Summerhays says.


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