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Key stacks deck, plays cute with RMA

Key stacks deck, plays cute with RMA

Prime Minister John Key is up to his usual trick of trying to emphasise a positive while at the same time disguising the truly negative impact of changes National is making to the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Maryan Street.

“Despite the fact these changes have been roundly opposed and criticised for their cookie-cutter approach to development, Mr Key is emphasising the one thing which is not a problem - halving the time it takes to get a consent to build a deck on your house.

"Ninety five per cent of consents are already processed within the statutory 20 days. There has never been any substantial evidence for reform on this basis. This is simply a smokescreen to conceal the real dangers of the government's reforms of the RMA.

“John Key is trying to minimise the radical impact of their watering down of environmental protections.

"By saying that these reforms will open up land for affordable housing is the most deceitful part of John Key's approach. The government has lots of levers it should have pulled over the last five years to address our critical affordable housing shortage. Now when the noise around it has become too loud for the National Party to ignore any longer, they try to pretend that the RMA has been the problem.

"The real danger is that the RMA is being turned into an Economic Development Act and environmental protections are being sacrificed in the process.

“Labour will repeal anything this government does which in our view weakens environmental protections.

“This is a tragedy for our already compromised environment. We need a firmer commitment to environmental protection these days, not a weaker one.

"National's Blue-Greens should be deeply embarrassed by these moves," said Maryan Street.
ends

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