Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Government squandering RMA reform opportunity


“The Government’s proposed reforms to the Resource Management Act pose a serious risk of adding more restrictions and confusion to the already chaotic regime,” says ACT Environment spokesperson Simon Court.

“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 Environment Select Committee has now reported back and ACT has recorded our strong opposition to the direction the Government is taking.

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

“It would introduce unworkable environmental limits that will result in more prohibitions, and litigation.

“As a result, the Government is squandering an opportunity to create meaningful change that could improve the lives of New Zealanders and restore the ideal of a property-owning democracy.

“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.

“All parties agree resource management reform is necessary, but this draft Bill is not the reform we need. We do not believe it improves the status quo, which is why we do not support further development of this draft Bill.”

The Select Committee’s report can be found here.