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Big RMA changes slated by environment group

Maryan Street
Environment Spokesperson

3 September 2013

Big RMA changes slated by environment group

Legal advice released today by the Environmental Defence Society slates the government’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act, saying that the changes will not achieve what the government says it wants to do, says Labour Environment Spokesperson, Maryan Street.

“New Zealanders want a law that helps preserve and protect our natural environment.

“While the intention of the government’s reforms might be to create more certainty by giving clear direction on development and environmental protection, its proposals will not actually achieve that.

“In fact EDS’s advice shows that merging sections 6 and 7, which are the heart of the purpose of the RMA, will simply create a longer ’shopping list’ of principles for decision-makers to choose from.

“That means a continuation of any current uncertainty and does not provide greater clarity, just more unpredictability - the reverse of what the government says it wants.

“The government also says it recognises the importance of understandable and enforceable environmental bottom lines. These proposals fail to provide those.

“As well as deleting any consideration of the ‘finite characteristics of natural and physical resources’ and the ‘ethic of stewardship’, the Minister will require any outstanding natural features and landscapes to be ‘specified’, but we don’t know by whom and how.

“Amy Adams should either go back to the drawing board, or own up and admit that her changes are designed to promote ease of development without proper care and protection of the environment,” said Maryan Street.

ENDS

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