“The Natural and Built Environments Bill is just the RMA in drag and ACT is the only party willing to oppose it,” says ACT’s Infrastructure spokesperson Simon Court.

“Instead of looking at ways to lower regulatory burdens, the Government has chosen to centralise planning through Ministerial dictate and unaccountable national planning bodies.

“While debating the Bill in Parliament today National indicated they’re going to support it. Once again ACT is the only party standing for real change.

“It beggars belief that faced with a once in a generation chance to cut through restrictive planning rules, allow for sensible environmental regulation, and empower development of new infrastructure, the Government has elected for a plan that would add even more bureaucracy to the system.

“The proposed Bill will have bureaucrats and iwi deciding the regional planning rules to say where you are and are not allowed to do stuff. With no input from the developers and businesses who get things built, it’s a recipe for more costs, more red tape, and less affordable homes.

“Everyone agrees the RMA needs to go, but this Draft Bill is not the reform we need and we shouldn’t waste our time on legislation that isn’t solving the problem at hand.

“ACT would repeal the RMA and replace it with separate Environmental Protection and Urban Development Acts. Separating environmental protection and urban planning is critical to recognise that a one size fits all approach is not workable.

“We don't need to be telling people the city should be this shape or that shape. We should be enabling people to develop their property. We should be enabling councils to focus on funding good infrastructure because that's how you let the next generation build homes like the previous one did.”

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