Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Resource Legislation Amendment Bill a shambles

3 November 2016

Resource Legislation Amendment Bill a shambles

National’s much touted changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) are a shambles and the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill (RLA Bill) should not proceed the Green Party said today.

Parliament’s Local Government and Environment select committee is due to report the Bill back to the House by Tuesday 7 November.

“The Bill significantly increases Ministerial powers to interfere in district and regional plans and limits the public’s ability to comment on RMA plans and resource consents. It is likely to make the RMA and its implementation more complex and litigious and increase costs for councils and users of the Act," Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

“Ministerial power has also compromised the select committee’s consideration of the Bill.

“Select committees are not here to rubberstamp Ministers’ bills. They're here to make sure new laws work, after robust scrutiny of the Bill and public submissions. Environment Minister, Nick Smith has undermined this process.

The controversial Bill attracted 764 submissions. Businesses, infrastructure operators, environmental organisations and iwi had similar criticisms of new Ministerial regulation making powers and the loss of appeal rights.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer described the Ministerial regulation making as a “constitutional outrage,” saying “due process is replaced by Executive fiat.” Federated Farmers called the Ministerial powers "excessive” and the provisions which allow central Government to intervene directly in local council plans "heavy handed.”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

The Green Party opposed the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill from the start.

“The RMA is a crucial foundation of New Zealand’s environmental law and planning system. Changes to it should be based on sound analysis and evidence and have broad cross party support so that they are enduring. The Bill has neither. Many of the changes are driven by ideology rather than robust analysis and evidence," said Ms Sage.

“The Bill is not fit for purpose. It increases Ministerial power, will expedite development activities with few environmental safeguards and scant consideration of sustainable management, and will remove basic rights of public participation. It should not proceed.”

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Newshub/Smokefree Twin Fiascos

Here’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on the public health system.

Which industry is this government rushing to assist..?


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More

Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.