Like sanc­tioned cor­rup­tion

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

Act is a threat to dis­trict

The prob­lem with the RMA re­source con­sent process is that it is not so much a law as a lack of law. The ap­pli­cant pays some money, jumps through some hoops and the au­thor­i­ties say whether you’re al­lowed to do some­thing or not. In that way it’s a lot like of­fi­cially sanc­tioned cor­rup­tion. The re­source con­sent process forms the same func­tion as pay­ing a bribe would in some less de­vel­oped coun­tries, ex­cept that it’s more earnest and drawn out. Ide­o­log­i­cally the RMA is a mas­sive ero­sion of prop­erty rights and an un­com­pen­sated one. How­ever, the real prac­ti­cal prob­lem cre­ated by the RMA, is the im­mense wealth that it drains from New Zealand. Peo­ple keep on go­ing to Aus­tralia to earn ‘the big money’ be­cause they don’t have the RMA over there, so there is big money to be made. The truth is that there would be big money to be made in New Zealand if there was no RMA stop­ping de­vel­op­ment. Of course peo­ple will re­tort that ‘‘It’s not all about money’’, rather the RMA is about en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion. But how can you pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment if you don’t have the money to do so? I pro­pose the re­gional coun­cil im­ple­ment­ing sim­ple rules based on prop­erty rights in­stead. Ba­si­cally, that you can do what you want on your own prop­erty un­less it af­fects other peo­ple in which case a rea­son­able amount of com­pen­sa­tion must be of­fered in or­der to carry out the ac­tiv­ity. An­drew Ruther­ford, Queen­stown (Can­di­date for the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil)

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