Govt wants to re­verse RMA moves

The New Zealand Herald - - News - Ja­son Walls

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.

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