Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

NZ Gets Environmental Protection Agency Under RMA

NZ to get Environmental Protection Agency under RMA reforms


By Jonathan Underhill

Feb. 3 – The government will create a U.S.-style Environmental Protection Agency to streamline approvals for projects of national importance including highways, railways, the national grid and the railroad.

The EPA is among a package of 100 reforms to the Resource Management Act announced by the government today to speed development and reduce vexatious appeals to resource consents.

Prime Minister John Key said the existing RMA has been “a handbrake on growth” that has stalled important projects and added to red tape.

“The RMA has been a source of huge frustration,” Key said in a statement in Wellington. “We need to unlock that lost growth potential and untangle the red tape suffocating everyone from homeowners to businesses.”

The package of reforms constitute the biggest changes to resource planning law since the PMA was introduced in 1991, amending to other laws covering town planning and environmental management. The government installed its RMA Technical Advisory Group, led by lawyer Alan Dormer, to support the government’s RMA reforms.

National grid operator Transpower has been among critics of the RMA, which has slowed its efforts to upgrade lines and build new links across the country. The government today singled out supermarket chains for manipulating planning law to stall their rivals’ developments.

The retailers had spent “millions of dollars fighting each other and delays of years have resulted,” according to a statement from Minister for the Environment Nick Smith, who is promoting the Resource Management (Simplify and Streamline) Amendment Bill.

The statements today singled out specific cases where the RMA had slowed development including the Wairau Pak’nSave on Auckland’s North Shore, “embroiled in litigation since the 1990s,” and the Wellington Inner-City Bypass, whose design was first approved by Transit New Zealand and Wellington City Council and was finally approved 15 years later.

The government is tightening the rules to remove what it calls frivolous, vexatious and anti-competitive objections. Penalties for such efforts have been increased and developers face higher fines for breaches of the act.

The bill is expected to be ready to go before the Parliament by the middle of this month and after the select committee process, be back in the House for its final stages in late August.

(Businesswire)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Dunne Speaks: Labour Leadership Speculation Premature And Facile
Speculation that the Prime Minister’s leadership of the Labour Party may be at risk because of this week’s adverse poll results is as exaggerated as it is premature and facile. While her popularity has plummeted from the artificially stellar heights of a couple of years ago and is probably set to fall further to what would be a more realistic assessment... More>>


Keith Rankin: Some Important But Little Known Facts About Taiwan

The nuclear clock is closer than ever (since 1962) to 'midnight'. Taiwan and Ukraine are of course the two flashpoints. It is important that the citizens of the world understand the key facts... More>>


Dunne Speaks: Aspirations Are All Very Well, But It's Getting It Right That Counts
In a weekend television interview, the Prime Minister pushed back on a suggestion her government is far better at talking about things than achieving them. She countered that “I would not ever change the fact that we have always throughout been highly aspirational…what you’re asking me essentially is to shy away from aspiration”... More>>




Ian Powell: Colossal ‘Porkies’ And Band-aids Don’t Make A Health Workforce Plan

On 1 August Minister of Health Andrew Little announced what he described as the start of a plan for the beleaguered workforce in Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system: Government’s 5 year late health workforce announcement. In October 2017, when Labour became government with its two coalition parties, it inherited a health workforce crisis from the previous National-led government... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Fuss About Monkeypox
The World Health Organization has been one of the easier bodies to abuse. For parochial types, populist moaners and critics of international institutions, the WHO bore the brunt of criticisms from Donald Trump to Jair Bolsonaro. Being a key institution in identifying public health risks, it took time assessing the threat posed by SARS-CoV-2 and its disease, COVID-19... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Time For MPs To Think For Themselves
One of the more frequently quoted statements of the Irish statesman and philosopher, Edmund Burke, was his observation that “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement, and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”... More>>