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Government must listen to RMA coalition

Grant
ROBERTSON
Environment Spokesperson
Deputy Leader

10 September 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Government must listen to RMA coalition

The Government must listen to the concerns of the coalition of environmental and recreation groups who have raised the alarm about proposed changes to the Resource Management Act, says Labour Deputy Leader and Environment Spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“The changes proposed by the Government’s advisory group go way too far. They will reduce environmental protection and lower the thresholds for development. If these changes go through, serious damage could be done to the environment and local communities.

“I met with representatives of the coalition (which includes Fish and Game, the Environmental Defence Society, Forest and Bird and WWF) today to listen to their concerns. And I re-affirmed that Labour is opposed to any changes to the RMA that will cause environmental harm and create uncertainty and litigation.

“Along with the other changes already flagged by the Government to the RMA, which will reduce the opportunity for public input, these represent a significant threat to the environment and to the public’s right to have a say.

“Labour acknowledges that some changes could be made to the RMA. We think that sustainable, high quality urban design and development should be reflected in the RMA process. This is an important issue to be dealing with and should be the Government’s, rather than buying into a polarising debate on development versus the environment.”

“We also can do more to improve the speed and consistency of the process but the fundamental principles should not be put at risk,” Grant Robertson says.

ENDS

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