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Another opportunity lost in latest RMA tinkering

Hon Dr Nick Smith MP National Party Environment Spokesman

02 December 2004

Another opportunity lost in latest RMA tinkering

"The Government has again failed in its latest announced changes to the Resource Management Act," says National Environment spokesman Nick Smith in response to the tabling of another Resource Management Amendment Bill.

"This Bill is a big disappointment and will not address the major problems that the Resource Management Act is causing in infrastructure and roading projects, as well as in compliance costs and delays to business.

"Even strong Government allies like newly elected Mayor Dick Hubbard has said these changes do not go nearly far enough to address Auckland's infrastructure problems. The Law Society has been even more damning in saying that these proposals will make the RMA worse for everyone.

"There are some small improvements in requiring hearings panels to be accredited but any benefit is lost with others that make the Act even more bureaucratic.

"The changes in this Bill that leave all notification decisions open to appeal through the Environment Court are a recipe for disaster, and the provisions giving even more status to iwi in resource planning will fuel the Maori consultation industry.

"It is now clear that the only way the Resource Management Act will be properly fixed is by the election of a National Government," says Dr Smith.

ENDS


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