Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Feds: RMA bill unnecessary, inappropriate, impractical

Federated Farmers has urged the Environment Select Committee to ditch the RMA Amendment Bill and wait for the related concurrent processes on its work programme to play out.

The Bill pre-empts and jeopardises the comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act currently being undertaken by the specialist panel appointed by the government, Feds environment spokesperson Chris Allen told the committee this morning. It also puts the cart before the horse on the Essential Freshwater proposals, which sought feedback from the public on some of the same matters as in the Bill.

"There’s been a concerning lack of stakeholder engagement on the more crucial matters within the Bill.

"Federated Farmers was very concerned to note that while the government was consulting on these exact proposals as part of the Essential Freshwater ‘Discussion Document’ process, it was concurrently drafting its answers into the Bill - prior to assessing and addressing feedback and concerns raised in the more than 17,500 submissions received.

"The Bill is fundamentally at odds with its overarching objective, which is ‘to reduce complexity, increase certainty, restore public participation opportunities and improve the Act’s processes’.”

Allen said that fast-tracking freshwater planning processes in this manner often become ‘survival of the best resourced’, with smaller councils left behind. It would certainly do nothing for meaningful public consultation.

"Freshwater planning processes across New Zealand are either already well underway or near or at completion. There are real risks of upending this progress.”

Answering a question from select committee chair Duncan Webb, Allen said there was nothing wrong with resource-stretched councils being able to call in the Environmental Protection Agency to help with enforcement and/or prosecution issues. But the way the Bill was currently written seemed to allow the EPA to step in uninvited, override local processes and assume full and total powers, including enforcement. This was an unwarranted duplication of roles.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Coronavirus: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees, And A Possible Future For RNZ Concert

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban extending until next Monday at least, presumably dependent to some extent on what Morrison decides to do later this week.
Our universities are now asking for an exemption to the travel ban for their Chinese students, who would still, the universities assure us, be subjected to strict quarantine procedures upon arrival. Given how the inability of the university system to care for its own students on campus made world news last year, that promise may not do much to reduce the coronavirus fears among the wider New Zealand public. More>>


Water Woes: Wellington Reflects National Problem

Water utilities right across the country face major challenges to upgrade and maintain their underground three waters network. Water New Zealand’s Technical Manager, Noel Roberts says Wellington’s waste water woes are not unique to the capital city... More>>


2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>


Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>


Local Government NZ: New Report A Pathfinder For Affordable Housing

A report released today by LGNZ provides a roadmap for councils finding their way through the complex policy, regulatory and market tools available to help enable more affordable housing developments for New Zealanders. With demand soaring, rents ... More>>


“Can Do Better”: Sallies Election Year Report Card

This year’s State of the Nation report by The Salvation Army offers a mixed bag of outcomes, with some significant headline progress - but also an ambitious list of “can do better”. Government action is delivering limited improvements... More>>






InfoPages News Channels