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National try to bury weak RMA reform

National try to bury weak RMA reform

National have proven how embarrassed they are of their ineffectual RMA reform by announcing it during the climax of the US election, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“They couldn’t have buried their deflated reform better if they’d announced it on Christmas Eve. If the RMA Emperor had any clothes he would’ve announced this any other day of the year,” says Mr Seymour.

“There’s no reform of the principles of the Act. It is a significant backdown on the Amy Adams reforms proposed when she was Minister in 2013, which would have merged the principles sections six and seven. You can’t fix the RMA without fixing the underlying principles.

“There’s no mention of economic considerations. Property rights don’t receive due recognition. More rules are heaped onto councils. There are new layers of unelected race-based bureaucracy.

“The most substantial idea in the proposed reforms is mandating iwi participation agreements. These will mean Maori leaders get consulted more but won’t lead to more homes for Maori – in fact the opposite, as these reforms demand more consultation, not less.

“Even the good parts are weak to the point of farce. For example the new planning standards are not ‘new’, but a renaming of planning templates.

“National has kicked the can down the road and left us with ineffective tinkering. This impotent fiddling proves that only a strong ACT can pull National towards effectual RMA reform. We’ll make this happen with a larger caucus after the next election.

“All New Zealanders pay the cost of the RMA’s 900 pages of red tape. It puts chokehold on development and housing supply. ACT campaigned on fundamental RMA reform last election, and we’ll be campaigning even harder in 2017.”

ENDS

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