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Labour attacks ACT support for RMA bill

Labour
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In a rousing attack on ACT's support for the National Government's Resource Management Amendment Bill, Labour spokesperson for conservation Jill Pettis said that there was no conflict between the environment and economy. She said that both ACT and the Government emphasise the conflict which they believe exists as a justification for weakening the protection of the RMA for the environment.

"The environment and the economy are interdependent because we will not have an economy without good environmental protection. New Zealand will not be able to trade on its clean green image if we do not protect the environment.

"Jill Pettis drew attention to the loss of protection for historic heritage and archaeological sites which will occur when regulation passes from the Historic Places Act to the RMA under the new Bill.

"Archaeological provisions in the Historic Places Act including checks and balances seem to have 'fallen off the back of the truck' during the transfer of regulation under the new Bill" said Jill Pettis.

"The exclusion of protection of archaeological sites on defence lands and National Parks will result in a very large number of historic sites being without protection. What will happen to the unresolved issues surrounding the Tamaki land at Takapuna Point?

"The National Government's failure since 1991 to provide national guidelines has caused the administration problems of the RMA and this new Bill will make those problems worse. Local authorities are given no help to solve conflicts of interest between their roles as consent authorities and situations where they are also the developer/land owner, as has occurred in Pirongia over the Alexandra East Redoubt.

"Further problems will be created by this Bill by the question mark which hangs over whether transferring responsibility from the Crown [Historic Places Act] to local authorities is a breech of Article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi, said Jill Pettis.

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