Wellington property owner Mark Dunajtschik’s fury at being denied permission to demolish a heritage building that is uneconomic to earthquake strengthen highlights the costly and unfair burden posed by the RMA, ACT Leader John Banks said today.
“The Resource Management Act denies landowners the right to compensation which allows councils to get away with this behaviour,” Mr Banks said.
“The owner is forced to pay for something he does not want, while the council doesn’t have to pay a cent.
“I support protecting heritage buildings but Councils should do that by working with property owners and coming to a voluntary arrangement, not by putting them in an impossible position.
“If government – local or central - wants to dictate what a building can be used for, it should either buy the building under the Public Works Act or compensate the owner for losses they suffer as a result of not being able to upgrade their property.
“The RMA needs to be amended to better reflect the property rights that all New Zealanders are entitled to, and once had.
“ACT’s Freedom to Build policy would restore the recognition of property rights in the RMA and restore a right to seek compensation for the effect of land use controls like those suffered by Mr Dunajtschik,” Mr Banks said.
ACT's Freedom To Build policy can be found here
Fury over quake-risk demolition refusal can be found here