“The Government is trying to pay non-government organisations to rush work on Labour’s RMA reforms through before the election. They should save taxpayers’ money, ACT is going to scrap it and implement a property-rights based resource management system instead,” says ACT’s Environment spokesperson Simon Court.

“The Ministry for the Environment has approached relevant NGOs and offered to pay them $600,000 over three years to help them with RMA reform processes.

“This shows how little regard the Wellington bureaucracy has for the public it is meant to be serving. ACT has made it quite clear these reforms are going to be scrapped in a few weeks should the Government change. Even though there is a good chance they won’t progress, bureaucrats are trying to spend as much money as they can, while they can.

“It’s good to see principled NGOs like Federated Farmers turn this money down, but they should never have been offered it in the first place.

“Labour had an opportunity to overhaul the RMA this term but like its healthcare, polytechnic, and three waters reforms, it focused more on the administrative structure for Government employees than the outcome for people.

“Fortunately for Kiwis, ACT has developed a comprehensive RMA alternative which allows New Zealanders to be free to make the best possible use of their property and our shared environment to live their best lives.

“ACT’s alternative significantly reduces the number of people who have the right to dictate who can do what. For someone to oppose an activity, they must be able to demonstrate that enjoyment of their own property would be hindered by the activity in question.

“ACT would also turbocharge infrastructure by developing 30 year partnerships with regional councils, and by making it easy to inject private capital into infrastructure through Public Private Partnerships.

“If we want to get cheaper goods to market and more houses built for the next generation, we need to reduce government interference and allow Kiwis to maintain property rights. That is the only way we will realise our economic potential.”

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