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MP’s Cross House To Support Jennings’ Bill On RMA

Thursday 23rd Nov 2000 Owen Jennings Media Release -- Environment

Four MP’s crossed the House tonight to support a Private Member’s Bill amending the Resource Management Act put forward by ACT MP Owen Jennings.

Following a fiery debate on the rights of landowners to be consulted before significant natural areas are designated for their properties, the Hon Dover Samuels and three Green MPs crossed the House and voted with the opposition. Their support was insufficient to see the Bill go to a select committee but it did create a dramatic debate when the opposition parties called for a personal vote to test whether the party vote was accurate. The acting Speaker refused to allow a personal vote to take place.

Dover Samuels supported the Jennings Bill citing the experience of the Far North District Council who he claimed designated vast areas of private land including Maori land as protection land under a proposed plan without consulting the affected landowners. He dismissed his party colleagues attack on the Bill as lacking an understanding of the difficulties and costs involved in not consulting landowners before making designations.

Green MPs appeared to change their mind in the course of the debate and divided their vote, some supporting the Bill as a step in the right direction.

The Bill was one of three ACT bills debated in the House last night – a first for the party.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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