Recommended changes to RMA explode environmental protection

Technical advisory group’s report recommends significant changes to section 6 of the RMA…the proposal to drop the requirement for decision makers to provide for the preservation and protection of indigenous vegetation and habitats as matters of national importance ignores Environment Court case law built up over the last 20 years.

### ODT Online Thu, 5 Jul 2012
Proposed changes reduce RMA protection
By Adam Bennett – New Zealand Herald
A Government-appointed advisory group has recommended a significant rewrite of the Resource Management Act removing references to the protection of coastal areas, wetlands, lakes and rivers and indigenous flora and fauna. Environment Minister Amy Adams released the report from a technical advisory group established after the Canterbury earthquakes with the primary task of looking at natural hazard issues relevant to the RMA arising from the quakes. “After the Canterbury earthquakes, it became clear that consents for subdivisions had been granted without any consideration of the risk of liquefaction,” Ms Adams said in a statement. However, the group’s report addresses much wider issues and recommends significant changes to section 6 of the RMA.

As it stands [section 6] instructs local authorities to recognise and provide for the protection or preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment, wetlands, lakes and rivers when considering RMA applications. They must also provide for the protection of outstanding natural features and landscapes and areas of significant indigenous vegetation or wildlife. Protection must also be provided for historic heritage and protected customary rights while public access to and along the coastal marine area, lakes and rivers must be maintained. However the group’s recommendation proposes removing the words “protection” and “preservation” from the section entirely.
Read more


### Friday 6 July 2012
Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep

08:13 Independent report a major assault on the RMA – Opposition
Opposition parties say recommended changes to the Resource Management Act by independent advisory group are a major assault on the sustainable management of the environment. (3′57″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

More reading via Scoop
Greens – Report ‘Major Assault On The RMA’
NZ Govt – Report on Resource Management Act principles released
Labour – RMA changes risk more litigation
ACT – RMA Principles Report Encouraging But More Boldness Required
Maori Party – Māori Party comfortable with direction of RMA report
Fish and Game NZ – RMA rejig a disaster for the environment

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under #eqnz, Geography, Heritage, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

5 responses to “Recommended changes to RMA explode environmental protection

  1. Elizabeth

    RNZ National –
    Eugenie Sage (Greens) says the report wants to pull back into the legislation the concept of balance which means the environment gets traded away for economic gain.

  2. Does this also give the dairy trade an easy ride?

    • Elizabeth

      Not only that, it opens the way for further unsympathetic residential and commercial residential development in the rural coastal zones, perhaps by the overseas investor friends of the National Party.

  3. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 14 Jul 2012
    RMA changes could mean fewer checks and balances, ORC says
    By Rebecca Fox
    Recommendations for a significant rewrite of the Resource Management Act could mean fewer checks and balances in the system, the Otago Regional Council says. Council policy and resource planning manager Fraser McRae said the recommendations highlighted the conflict that arose in planning, as the future was uncertain. Developers were interested in the “here and now” and “getting the job done” before moving on to the next one but without the “someone” standing there getting them to consider the risk to the natural landscape or wetland, then there was nothing to stop them destroying the “things we want to keep” or create problems for the future.
    Read more

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s the short-term thinking that disturbs me. Same with governments national and local where decisions are based on how they’ll look on next election date. We seem to have lost the public investment culture that put high value on leaving a good legacy to the g-g-grandchildren – while private wealth creation and means for keeping tight hold of it (tax cuts for the rich, privatise-gain, socialise-loss decisions by governments) grows ever stronger.

    I wonder if this has anything to do with professionalising politics, has it been as pernicious as professionalising sport? Both seem to have lost the allure of the status a person gains by giving service to their community/sport because they have the ability to do so and a strong desire to do their best, partly for the glory but also because having achieved enough wealth (politics) to live on it’s time for serving their country even if this entails a degree of personal sacrifice, taking a small recompense instead of what they could be earning because they want to do what feels right to them.

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