█ Interpretation of the existing RMA has led to dairy intensification destroying waterways and threatening public health and welfare, in large measure.
A bit of a tour….
### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 14:29, March 23 2016
Canterbury rumbly-gut outbreak linked to dairying
By Pat Deavoll
An outbreak of “rumbly-gut” among communities in Canterbury has Waikato veterinarian and agri-ecology consultant Alison Dewes concerned. She thinks the outbreak is the result of dairy intensification and irrigation contaminating public drinking water. Thirty per cent of the region’s shallow wells have already experienced an increase in nitrogen and pathogen levels after 10-15 years of irrigation on shallow lighter soils, she says. “We have the highest rates of ecoli diseases in the world, and the highest rate of campylobacter, cryptosporidia and giardia in communities in the Hinds region. We have the highest rates of zoonoses (disease spread from animals to humans) in the world in some of the irrigated/dairy catchments like Selwyn and Hinds and the government is promoting a further 40,000ha of irrigation in an already allocated and at risk catchment. Economics and dairy intensification are trumping public health and welfare.”
### NZ Herald Online 8:42 AM Wednesday Mar 9, 2016
40pc of farms fail to lodge consents
By Zaryd Wilson – Wanganui Chronicle
Forty per cent of dairy farms required to lodge a resource consent application with Horizons Regional Council have not done so. A total of 229 dairy operations were required to have lodged an application by January 1 this year under the regional council’s One Plan, which aims to limit nitrogen pollution of waterways. The One Plan – adopted by the council in 2014 – limits nitrogen leaching by intensive farm operations, namely dairy, commercial horticulture, cropping and intensive sheep and beef farming. Figures released to the Chronicle under the Official Information Act reveal that only 137 of the 229 dairy operations which came under new rules have lodged consent applications. The new rules took effect on July 1 last year, and farms had six months – up until January 1 – to apply.
26.11.15 NZH: Resource Management Act reforms to be introduced
The Government will introduce its long awaited Resource Management Act reforms to Parliament next week after securing the support of the Maori Party. The reforms to the country’s main planning document stalled two years ago when National’s support partners refused to back them because of their potential impact on the environment.
Ministry for the Environment
█ About the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
This page has information on the amendments proposed in 2015 to the Resource Management Act 1991.
█ Resource Legislation Amendment Bill [New Zealand Legislation website]
The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill (the Bill) was introduced to Parliament on 26 November 2015.
Leading New Zealand law firm Chapman Tripp say:
OPINION Most of the provisions in the Bill have been telegraphed in advance so there is little to surprise. If passed as drafted, it has the capacity to reduce costs and speed up planning processes – but probably only at the margins. For more radical and meaningful change we may have to await the results of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into urban planning (see Chapman Tripp’s commentary here, dated 2.11.15).
RMA Reform Bill – busy with change but less than National wanted
Chapman Tripp 26 November 2015
OPINION The ‘phase two’ RMA reforms, initially to have been passed in 2014, have now finally been introduced to Parliament as the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. The Bill is a busy piece of legislation running to more than 200 pages, and aims to help streamline planning and consenting processes. But National has had to abandon its proposals to remove the “hierarchy” some saw as enshrined in the existing Part 2 of the RMA, promoting environmental values ahead of economic development in sections six and seven. After the loss of the Northland seat to Winston Peters in March, it does not have the votes to get the wider and more far-reaching changes through. We look at the Bill:
● Requiring councils to follow national planning templates (once such templates are available) with standardised provisions across the country.
● A range of measures aimed at producing faster, more flexible planning processes. These include: tighter timelines for plan production and the introduction of two new tracks – a collaborative track and a streamlined track.
● Reduced requirements for consents – allowing councils discretion not to require a resource consent for minor changes, creating a new 10 day fast-track for simple consents and eliminating the need for an RMA consent when consenting is provided for in other legislation.
● Stronger national direction – especially in relation to hot-button issues like providing for new housing or addressing dairy stock in rivers.
Blue skies review for urban planning – the take-off
Chapman Tripp 15 January 2016
OPINION The blue skies review into urban planning has now left the runway, with the release by the Productivity Commission before Christmas of an issues paper seeking feedback on possible directions for change.
### nbr.co.nz Fri, 23 Jan 2015
NZ POLITICS DAILY: Blue-Green battle over housing crisis and RMA
By Bryce Edwards
OPINION A blue-green battle is looming over housing affordability and the reform of the Resource Management Act. This might well be one of the biggest political battles of 2015. After all, the issue of housing affordability is of significant concern to the general public, while the reform of the RMA is of particular concern to political parties, with the ideologies of National/Act and the Green Party looking to clash the strongest. True blue Nats have never been comfortable with the RMA (despite it actually being passed by a National government). It has been seen as being too green (environmentally weighted) and not blue enough (economically weighted). For two decades, therefore, National’s traditional constituency of farmers and business have wanted to see the legislation turned into more of an Economic Development Act. That’s precisely what’s going to happen according to Chris Trotter, who says today that New Zealand Doesn’t Need A “Developers’ Charter”. He argues that the new reforms signalled this week by Nick Smith ‘would be about using the legislative process to advance the interests of a section of New Zealand society which has, for more than sixty years, grown extremely wealthy (and dangerously influential) by convincing the National Party to continue following a model of sprawling urban development, based on the single-story detached dwelling and the private automobile’.
### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 15:15, December 9 2015
Pattrick Smellie: First Rule of RMA Reform: It Never Ends
OPINION Make way, make way for the Great Resource Management Act Reform! What? You say? Didn’t that just land with a resounding flop after seven years’ gestation and the government’s most cherished hope – environmental law that was better for economic development – largely abandoned? Nope. The relatively uncontroversial Resource Legislation Reform Bill passed its First Reading for referral to a select committee last week by a thumping 92-14 parliamentary majority, suggesting bi-partisanship emerging on most of the wide range of widely agreed process improvements it contains. That’s a good sign, because it is a parliamentary challenge for the way it splits ultimately into five bills, affecting five separate pieces of legislation, including reserves, public works,conservation and the exclusive economic zone. David Parker, Labour’s new environment spokesman, has upheld the party’s previous position of support for obvious improvements and the inclusion of oversights from the purpose clauses of the RMA such as management of natural hazards – like earthquakes. National’s attempt to make a deeper change to two purpose clauses, Sections 6 and 7, of the RMA is a lost cause now, but the alternative line of attack is already visible.
In ordering up a new Productivity Commission inquiry into urban planning laws, Finance Minister Bill English and Environment Minister Nick Smith have effectively opened the first salvo on what would be a five year campaign to split the RMA back into two pieces of law: one covering planning and the other covering environmental management.
That would make New Zealand more like many other similar jurisdictions and might be expected to cut through the Gordian Knot of the RMA’s failings, which are in too large a part the cause of the mad price of housing in Auckland.
### NZ Herald Online 4:50 AM Monday Mar 21, 2016
Editorial: New bill prompts concern
By Andrew Bonallack – The Northern Advocate
OPINION Both local and central government would undoubtedly prefer that resource consents not be opposed in vexatious fashion, especially by those who don’t appear to be connected to the situation, or just oppose on principle. But there is a proposed piece of legislation proceeding through Parliament which should be a major red flag for those who believe in holding councils to account.
The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill proposes changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that would significantly trample on those who feel a proposed resource consent would have significant effects on their locality.
Under the RMA, the “likely to be more than minor” test has been the threshold for a proposal to be opened up to the public for submissions. Of course, what constitutes “minor” is pretty subjective, but nonetheless it was there. Under this new bill, councils can be more restrictive. According to Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright, the Minister could exclude certain activities from notification and particular people from making submissions. She also warns amendments to the “more than minor” test could mean councils would ignore a major adverse effect on the environment. Another issue is councils restricting concerns submitters are allowed to cover.
The council would be able to ignore what could actually be relevant information. And it seems any kind of subdivision or residential development would not have to be notified.
Already the Dunedin City Council is calling it “an attack on democracy”, saying people would have to hire expensive consultants to present what was previously an honest, free submission. In my view, residents are prone to BANANA characteristics (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) and can lack the good sense to realise that communities need to be progressive. But this bill appears to be attacking people’s rights to participate in the resource management process. That’s not a good thing.
● The editorial also appeared in the Wairarapa Times-Age (17.3.16).
Related Post and Comments:
19.3.16 Takes the Cake | What Dairy Crisis ? #DUD #PropertySpeculation
23.1.16 Chris Trotter on National’s “developers’ charter” #RMA reforms
19.1.15 Housing affordability in this country is “just hopeless” –Hugh Pavletich
9.11.14 Dunedin: Housing upgrade and “rearrangement”
21.7.13 RMA and Key’s right-wing slashers
12.6.13 Dunedin housing: building up or Brown-like sprawl #intensification #costlyinfrastructure
29.10.12 Govt to open up more land for houses
6.7.12 Recommended changes to RMA explode environmental protection
8.3.11 Resource Management Act streamlining by National-led government
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr