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Rip It Up And Start Again – The Resource Management Act / The New Zealand Maori Council

The New Zealand Maori Council has welcomed the review of the Resource Management Act undertaken by a panel of experts led by retired Court of Appeal Judge Hon Tony Randerson, QC. The Executive Director of the Council, Matthew Tukaki, said “the act has been a millstone around the necks of Maori for years and it certainly to live up to what a partnership is when it comes to the Treaty”.

“Everywhere I go across the nation, every Maori community, marae, business and more have an issue with the RMA. In fact it has become so cumbersome, so out of date and so beauracrtic if we don’t do something about it now the only that is certain is that Maori interests and rights will continue to be ignored – I say that not just about water and its consenting and allocation but for everything to do with the whenua and more”. Tukaki said

“Amending the Act, which many people have been pushing for, is just wasting time and will only complicate matters even further – in fact it will just make the whole thing more confusing. But the other thing that must be clear is prescribing what Government Agencies and Local Government must do when it comes to the partnership with Maori – and that is not just consult but act on what comes from those consultations. If we say no to the expansion of a bottling plant that doesn’t mean yes! If we say no to more allocations on a body of water only to create a conga line of everyone’s interests but ours then it’s a no and if, in that process, we are ignored and put to the back of the line then of course the system needs to change”. Tukaki said

“But its also about land development, planning and building. The process has become so expensive and cumbersome that Maori are locked out by the sheer additional cost of trying to do something – and when it comes planning and consents for infrastructure builds then we also need to review the Public Works Act and ensure that land that was, has and yet to be acquired is revisited. If this means a complete overhaul of Land Information New Zealand and ensuring that a Maori Lands Commissioner is appointed then so be it”. Tukaki said

Tukaki has also said that reform and beginning a new will take time – but that this is the time to be bold an brave:

“Lets be clear this will not be easy but address the issues we must – but it should also be a warning to the Government that Maori should not just be engaged in the process we expect a key role, side by side, with our Treaty partner to get the job done within five years.”

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