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Smith’s dream likely to be environmental nightmare

Charles Chauvel
Environment Spokesperson

2 November 2011

Smith’s dream likely to be environmental nightmare

Labour has expressed alarm at the Government’s plans to further dilute public opportunities for input into environmental planning decisions.

“Fast tracking so called medium sized projects sounds appealing at first blush,” Labour’s Environment spokesperson Charles Chauvel said.

“But the reality that lies behind the announcement is likely to mean increased costs, the potential for more wrong decisions, and less opportunity for people to have their say about development in their neighbourhoods.

“Labour, when it was in office, identified and rectified the majority of the problems that exist under the RMA. What National is now doing is turning it into a developers’ charter.

“Today’s announcement speaks volumes about National’s environmental policies. When it comes to fast tracking new building projects the Government is willing to act,” Charles Chauvel said.

“However, when it comes to mining or offshore drilling National’s legacy is one of inaction.

“John Key and Nick Smith continue to talk in terms of ‘balancing’ the economy and the environment. It is as if they believe that New Zealand can have only as much environmental integrity as they judge we can afford.

“The reality is that respect for the environment and avoiding fast-tracked development decisions - that we will all live to regret at our leisure - go hand in hand,” Charles Chauvel said.

ENDS

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