RMA changes look positive

The SST reports on likely changes to the . They are:

  • enable local councils to make planning changes more quickly (currently takes six years on average)
  • prevent companies using the law to stymie competition from rival firms
  • no change to the environmental purposes of the act
  • major projects could now be heard by a board of inquiry headed by an Environment Court judge or a retired judge
  • local bodies could nominate people also to serve on the board
  • limit the number of appeals that go further up the track
  • increase the power of the courts to be able to ping players that have abused the RMA process
  • maximum fine for breaches of RMA to increase from $200,000 to several million probably

In summary it is not about changing what projects get consent, just about speeding up the process which is insanely long at the moment.

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