“The Infrastructure Commission has today released a damning report explicitly stating that the Government will fail to meet its emissions reductions targets if it does not radically reform the consenting process, which not only causes massive delays but drowns infrastructure projects in unnecessary costs,” says ACT’s Environment spokesperson Simon Court.

“The Infrastructure Consenting for Climate Targets report says that “we project a scenario where 29–34 per cent of emissions targets are in jeopardy due to consenting constraints and delays,” and that “from 2028 a 50 per cent reduction in projected consent processing times will be required.

"The report paints a depressing picture of aspirational infrastructure developers strangled by red tape, stating that “37 per cent of sampled infrastructure developers reported facing material indirect costs, made up primarily of time delays, but also the holding cost of capital and necessary redesigns to be able to get consent”

“The report describes a perfect storm of costs, delays, regulations and an anticipated 40 per cent increase in demand on the consenting system from all sectors by 2050. The Government needs to slice through the Gordian Knot of the RMA, and it needs to do so soon. It is clear that the Government’s proposed RMA reforms fall far short of what is needed if New Zealand is to have the slightest hope of meeting its emissions targets.

“Fortunately for Labour, ACT has developed a comprehensive RMA alternative which does just that.

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.

“This is yet another example of a tangle of red tape tripping up a bureaucratically top-heavy Government. All of the problems in the report could be solved by simply letting people get on with building, and by letting private capital get on with paying for it.”

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Simon Court