Tag Archives: Wetlands

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.”
Read more

****

### 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.
Read more

****

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.

****

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.
Read more

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.

Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Agriculture, Architecture, Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

Dezeen: Harbin Opera House, north east China | MAD

Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing - aerial 1 [photo Hufton + Crow]Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing - exterior 2 [photo Adam Mørk]Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing - exterior 3 [photo Hufton + Crow]

### dezeen.com 16 December 2015
MAD’s sinuous Harbin Opera House completes in north-east China
Beijing studio MAD has completed an opera house in the Chinese city of Harbin, featuring an undulating form that wraps two concert halls and a huge public plaza. The opera house is the first and largest building that MAD has designed as part of Harbin Cultural Island, a major new arts complex among the wetlands of the Songhua River. The 79,000-square-metre building features a three-petalled plan. One houses a grand theatre with space for up to 1,600 visitors, while the other is a more intimate performance space for an audience of 400. The building is designed to mirror the sinuous curves of the marsh landscape, with an exterior of smooth white aluminium panels and glass. These contrast with the rooftops, where a textured surface of ice-inspired glass pyramids allows light in from above. According to MAD, the building is designed “in response to the force and spirit of the northern city’s untamed wilderness and frigid climate”. “We envision Harbin Opera House as a cultural centre of the future – a tremendous performance venue, as well as a dramatic public space that embodies the integration of human, art and the city identity, while synergistically blending with the surrounding nature,” said studio founder Ma Yansong.

MAD architects [website homepage i-mad.com 26.12.15]

█ MAD Architects: http://www.i-mad.com/

MAD has designed several cultural buildings, including an artificial island of art caves, an icicle-shaped wood sculpture museum also in Harbin and Chicago’s proposed George Lucas Museum. Curved surfaces are a recurring theme through them all, picking up Ma’s ambition for a new style of architecture, referencing the landscapes of traditional Chinese paintings.

“We treat architecture as a landscape,” he told Dezeen in an interview last year.

Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing - interior 1 [photo Adam Mørk]

The smooth surfaces of the opera house’s exterior continue inside.
Read more + Images

█ Photography by Adam Mørk and Hufton + Crow.

Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing [photo Hufton + Crow]

Related stories:
China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD
MAD reveals concept design for George Lucas’ Chicago art museum
MAD Architects unveils slimmed-down design for Lucas Museum in Chicago

Related movie:
MAD wants to “invent a new typology” for high-rise architecture, says Ma Yansong
In this exclusive video interview filmed in Venice, Ma Yansong of Chinese architects MAD explains his concept for a “shan-shui city”, a high density urban development inspired by traditional Chinese paintings of mountain ranges.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing - plaza 1 [photo Adam Mørk]Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects_Beijing - exterior detail 1 [photo Hufton + Crow]

Leave a comment

Filed under Architecture, Business, Concerts, Construction, Coolness, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Infrastructure, Innovation, Inspiration, Leading edge, Media, Name, People, Project management, Property, Site, Structural engineering, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

RMA and Key’s right-wing slashers

BACKWARD STEP: Our environment is at risk if the Resource Management act is watered down.Anton Oliver [stuff.co.nz]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/07/2013
Gutting the RMA – it’s time to be concerned
By Anton Oliver
Source: Sunday Star-Times
OPINION | The Resource Management Act (RMA) has sadly become a much maligned and misunderstood piece of legislation: a kind of universal public punching bag – if mentioned in conversation, it is almost obligatory to put the slipper in. To most Kiwis it represents bureaucracy and inefficiency – pen-pushing do-gooders and paper shufflers who engage us in excessively long and costly processes that get in the way of us Kiwis doing stuff.
In fact the RMA – passed in 1991 – was a means of rectifying mistakes and providing at least some environmental and social integrity to development and planning process. It was recognised by legal minds to be a world-leading piece of legislation. It protected our environment and our economy based on the premise of sustainable resource management. What’s more, it was politically robust in that it received the blessing of both major parties.
It also gave New Zealanders a chance to be heard and it facilitated local decisions made by local people. While the country’s environmental indicators such as water quality and biodiversity loss have still gone backwards – the RMA has stemmed what would otherwise have been fatal haemorrhaging.
Similarly, the RMA has protected a set of fundamental Kiwi values: the notion of fairness and equity in regard to everyone having a right to their say; industry and other activities being required to take responsibility for avoiding, remedying or mitigating adverse environmental impacts; and developments being required to have regard to effects on such things as recreation, scenic values, private property rights, and the public’s access to rivers, lakes and beaches.
That’s all about to change.
The Government plans to alter the Act to give greater weight to economic development over environmental considerations, granting to itself the right to veto any issue. You don’t have to be legal-minded to see the impact of subtle word changes. While the consideration for the “benefits” of a project remains, gone are any references to the “costs”, making a cost-benefit analysis redundant because environmental “cost” is out of the equation.
Gone, too, are the words: “maintenance and enhancement of amenity values”. That’s basically any recreational activity – walking, running, swimming, fishing, kayaking. Who likes doing that stuff anyway? Thankfully the “importance and value of historic heritage” stays. But its cobber, “protection from inappropriate subdivision and development” gets the boot – making the first clause meaningless. And my personal favourite, “maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment” has been politely asked to leave. Clearly such an unruly clause has no place in a legal act that’s trying to protect the environment.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, has a different interpretation. She thinks the changes “muddy the overwhelming focus of the RMA, to protect the environment, and risk turning it into an Economic Development Act”. Similarly alarmed, the architect of the RMA, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, concludes: “The [proposed changes] will significantly and seriously weaken the ability of the RMA to protect the natural environment and its recreational enjoyment by all New Zealanders.”

The changes also grant considerable new powers to central government, giving it the ability to take individual consent decisions away from local councils and place them in a new national body. The changes go further still, by allowing government the right to insert provisions in local council plans without any consultation.
Read more

● Former All Black Anton Oliver is an ambassador for Water Conservation Order NZ.

Related Posts and Comments:
21.4.13 *fashionable* Heritage Dunedin and the RMA holocaust
17.3.13 RMA Bill: Public meeting 21 March
6.7.12 Recommended changes to RMA explode environmental protection

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: stuff.co.nz – Anton Oliver

12 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

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

****

### radionz.co.nz Friday 6 July 2012
Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport

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

5 Comments

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