Govt wants to reverse RMA moves
The Government says it will reverse “objectionable changes” to the Resource Management Act (RMA) adopted under the previous government.
Environment Minister David Parker announced a two-stage process to amend the legislation which is expected to start next year.
“The Resource Management Act is underperforming in some critical areas and needs fixing,” Parker said.
The RMA is New Zealand’s main piece of legislation that sets out how the environment should be managed.
Under the previous National-led Government, reforming the Act — which was first passed in 1991 — was a sticking point, as National was not able to reach a full consensus with its Coalition partners, Act, United Future and the Ma¯ori Party, regarding the changes it wanted to make.
Parker blamed the previous government for making a mess of the legislation.
“The changes under the previous government caused perverse outcomes that gave applicants an incentive to intentionally make their applications non-compliant to preserve public participation and appeal rights.”
National Environment spokesman Scott Simpson said some of the changes the previous Government made are starting to have a real positive impact, resulting in a smoother consenting process with less cost.
“The changes the minister is proposing are just mere tinkering.” He said reform of the RMA was critical to increasing housing supply, and making housing more affordable.