Herald on RMA reform

February 4th, 2009 at 10:11 am by David Farrar

The Herald Editorial proclaims:

John Key said the recession added fresh urgency to the need for changes. In reality, however, these were overdue whatever the economic climate. In the 18 years since its well-intentioned introduction, the act has struggled to be a credible vehicle for genuinely sustainable resource use. Most fundamentally, the mechanisms for issuing consents have been too easily abused. Commercial rivals have used them to handicap competitors by lodging objections, neighbours have settled scores by refusing to consent to housing extensions and suchlike, and too many developers have been at the mercy of rival claimants to tangata whenua status and been charged excessive consultation fees. The upshot in all instances has been unacceptable costs and delays.

We have effectively flushed hundreds of millions of dollars down the drain due to consenting delays.

But, in one respect, Mr Key’s hands have been tied. Notably absent is a proposal to remove references to the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori cultural and spiritual values. It was part of ’s election manifesto but has fallen foul of the new relationship with the Maori Party. Now, somewhat lamely, the Government says the dropping of the Treaty clause has been rendered unnecessary by case law and improved practices.

Welcome to MMP. The jury will be out on this issue, until we see some cases under the revised law. If projects still face significant delays because of arguments over the “life-force” of a river, I won’t be too impressed.

Already, however, the Government has ventured into areas that its green-tinged predecessor would have avoided. In the main, it has trod carefully. In quick time, it has arrived at a better balanced and more consistent Resource Management Act.

It is all about balance, and I think the changes will have a significant impact on our economic growth – especially with the looming infrastructure spending.

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11 Responses to “Herald on RMA reform”

  1. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Welcome to MMP.”

    Except that Key did not have to invite the Maori Party onto the government benches.

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  2. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,833 comments) says:

    And welcome to ‘Pak n Save’ in Glenfield. I see the building is being painted yellow as we speak.

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  3. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    Herald: “……Notably absent is a proposal to remove references to the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori cultural and spiritual values. It was part of National’s election manifesto but has fallen foul of the new relationship with the Maori Party. Now, somewhat lamely, the Government says the dropping of the Treaty clause has been rendered unnecessary by case law and improved practices…..”

    DPF: “……Welcome to MMP. The jury will be out on this issue, until we see some cases under the revised law. If projects still face significant delays because of arguments over the “life-force” of a river, I won’t be too impressed…..”

    HEAR, HEAR, DPF. I mean, we are meant to have moved on from the era of soft-headed superstitions and all that, eh…? At least where Christianity is concerned…….? It is inconsistent to bend over backwards to accomodate totally insupportable superstitions from other cultures and indeed from new age Gaia environmentalism.

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  4. Bryan Spondre (225 comments) says:

    Inviting the Maori Party onto the treasury benches was a stroke of genius on Key’s part. It gave him the flexibility to ignore Act if necessary, has broken Labours hold on the Maori Party vote and was a significant slap to the Lefts arrogance, and most importantly will see the Maori Party decline like all minor parties do in coalition.

    It will indeed be disturbing if flaky beliefs including those of Maori groups are used to extract benefits using the RMA.

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  5. s.russell (1,580 comments) says:

    Hooray for reform of the RMA! While the RMA is generally a great good, its greatest flaw has been the capacity for delaying and bogging things down. Cutting that back is a great move.

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  6. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Hooray for the reform of the RMA! No longer will the country be burdened by individuals exercising their rights …. hang on ….???

    [DPF: With limited exceptions, most of us don't think you have a right to object to what I do on my property, unless it affects you. You may think you have such a right, but you don't. The right if for people to manage their own properties]

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  7. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Yeah greenfly, I’m all for individual rights but I didn’t know the right to extort, blackmail or bully was included as individual rights. Time to move on greenfly you and your mates have had their chance and it’s being a total balls up.

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  8. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    side show bob – if, by chance, some appalling development is begun in your neighbourhood and you find you didn’t know it was coming and anyway couldn’t afford to speak up against it, you’ll know what I meant. Btw. my ‘mates’ (I take it you mean the Greens) didn’t produce the RMA as it stands (warts and all) but it seems to me that it isn’t regarded as ‘a total balls up’ even by the overheated Right. Were that the case, it would surely have been recinded (without the need for input from the public or those superfluous ‘select committees’ either). I see that that hasn’t happened.
    DPF – but I do think that you have the right to have your say when an interested party wants to affect changes to the environment you live in – your outlook, your place of recreation; river, lake, field, forest etc. I expect you’d be annoyed if some organisation or other decided to ‘develop’ the delightful landscapes you recently delighted in walking through. No?

    [DPF: As far as I know I will still have rights to object to changes to lakes or rivers I frequent. But I don't think I have a right to object to what say a farmer does in his field]

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  9. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Do you! You are very trusting! Let’s say that farmer keeps pigs, thousands of pigs that smell to the high heavens with and odour that permeates the very fabric of your being (your clothes, your kitchen, your bedroom, whatever.) No objections? Better still, such a farmer proposes to set up such a piggery. Keeping mum, are you?

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  10. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Of course it hasn’t happened greenfly, why put a stop to a good little earner. Shit everyone knows your lot are always short of cash, the RMA and socialism were made for each other. Yeah baby screw those evil rich pricks and progress.

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  11. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    side show bob – progress? Resource management. Doesn’t really sound like a device designed to screw evil rich pricks, does it? Resource managment – sounds kinda …reasonable!

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