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Degraded Environment Reflects RMA Failure

New Zealand’s degraded and deteriorating environment reflects the failure of the Resource Management Act, the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations (CORANZ) recently told a parliamentary select committe.

“In conjunction with the ineffectiveness has been a growth of red tape spawned by bureaucrats and feasted on by lawyers,” said CORANZ chairman Andi Cockroft. “There has been a huge redtape led bureaucracy grow up without even a single fundamental understanding of the environmental catastrophe being created by unfettered expansion of aquaculture, dairy and landbased monoculture.”

Due to unfettered and inappropriate land use, rivers and streams had become heavily polluted and in the cases of Canterbury’s rivers such as the Selwyn and Irwell, many drying up completely. Aquifers had become depleted.

Over the past 28 years, since the RMA was introduced, The sucking dry of aquifers and ultralow river levels now show the lack of credibility in claims of “Clean and Green” New Zealand and 100% Pure.

“Our children are being denied access to “Swimmable” rivers and waterholes. Catching fish both for sport and sustenance had become harder because diminished, degraded flows aggravated by the Department of Conservation’s poisoning of waterways rendering fish unsafe to consume.”

Despite several attempts at reform, the RMA had remained a monster effectively without a head or a heart that can be attacked or muzzled. he said.

Andi Cockroft said the new proposed Bill whilst having some promise seemed simply more “adjustments” to a failed philosophy inspired by the 4th Labour Government’s Geoffrey Palmer and introduced by National Minister Simon Upton.

“Consequently, CORANZ submits that the existing RMA is unfit and needs to be replaced, not simply fiddled with yet again.”

CORANZ proposed that this Bill - yet another RMA version - be defeated and Parliament urged to look at a complete replacement of the full RMA that would seek to protect the environment ahead of economic exploitation.

New Zealand can have both if balanced correctly as was the case with the older Town and Country Planning Act that the RMA replaced said Andi Cockroft.

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