Tag Archives: Dr Nick Smith

Dairying, Housing : More on Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Water resource management [lincoln.ac.nz] 1Irrigation [lincoln.ac.nz]

█ 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.”
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### 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.
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Wetland copy-header [nzarm.org.nz] 1Wetlands [nzarm.org.nz]

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.

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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:
Major changes
● 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.
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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.

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Chris Trotter on National’s “developers’ charter” #RMA reforms

John Key PM + Nick Smith at Hobsonville housing development 24.8.14 [Hannah Peters - Getty Images AsiaPac]

The Never-Ending Suburban Dream: Dr Nick Smith’s purported determination to make housing more affordable by “reforming” the Resource Management Act has been widely derided as little more than a National Party recommitment to the urban development model of the 1950s and 60s. In short, to quote Peter Dunne, “a developers’ charter”.

Chris Trotter [radiolive.co.nz]### bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz
Friday, 23 January 2015 at 08:53
New Zealand Doesn’t Need A “Developers’ Charter”
By Chris Trotter
THE LAWYERS and the environmental lobbyists are already gnawing at Dr Nick Smith’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA). Forewarned by the National-led Government’s first, abortive, foray into environmental law reform back in 2013, a forearmed Opposition has this week re-joined the battle with renewed energy.
The United Future leader, Peter Dunne, has warned against turning the RMA into a “Developers’ Charter” – a potent political riff upon which his parliamentary colleagues have been only-too-happy to extemporise.
Has the Prime Minister, rubbing shoulders with 1 percent of 1 percent of the 1 Percent at Davos, given equal heed to the venerable Member for Ohariu? Given that few politicians’ appreciation of middle-class New Zealanders’ tics and tells is stronger than Mr Dunne’s, if John Key isn’t paying attention to him, then he should – and soon.
Not that, in the brutal numbers game that determines whether a piece of legislation succeeds or fails, Mr Key needs the endorsement of Mr Dunne. The parliamentary arithmetic of environmental law reform requires no complicated figuring. The Act Party’s grace-and-favour MP for Epsom, David Seymour, has already signalled (well in advance of any actual shouts of “Division called for!”) that he will be supplying Dr Smith with the single vote necessary (in addition to National’s 60 votes) to ensure the passage of the Government’s environmental reforms.
Which is, when you think about it, extraordinary. With sixty MPs, National’s current parliamentary caucus is, by historical standards, a large one. It is also slavishly obedient.
[…] It has been a very long time indeed since a National Party politician “crossed the floor” in any kind of procedurally meaningful context. For many years now absolute caucus discipline has not only been assumed – it has prevailed.
Such robotic compliance is not good for the health of National’s caucus; the wider National Party organisation; nor, ultimately, for that of parliamentary democracy itself. Voters need to believe that there are at least some MPs whose definitive allegiance is to values and principles more enduring than the arguments of their Party Whip. On matters crucial to both the social and the natural environments, the practice of representative democracy should rise above the crude calculations of purely partisan arithmetic. It should be about reason and science; about being persuaded by the evidence and securing the greatest good for the greatest number.
Replacing New Zealand’s much admired RMA with a “Developers’ Charter” would be about none of those things.
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█ This essay was originally published in The Waikato Times, The Taranaki Daily News, The Timaru Herald, The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 23 January 2015.

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: (top) Hannah Peters/Getty Images AsiaPac – John Key PM and Nick Smith at Hobsonville housing development (August 2014); radiolive.co.nz – Chris Trotter tweaked by whatifdunedin

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