Richard Harman at Politik reports:
The country’s local bodies are proposing a radical reform of the country’s planning and environment laws.
In short they are calling for either reducing the authority of the resource Management Act or scrapping it altogether.
In a so-called “Blue Skies” document released yesterday Local Government New Zealand offers two stages of reforms.
The second stage proposed scrapping the Resource Management Act, the Land Transport Act and the Local Government Act and their replacement by two new pieces of legislation.
The Councils say the current program of RMA reforms is encouraging and moving in a positive direction.
But the Councils believe even the current reforms may not be enough.
So they are proposing three options:
- Blending the land use, infrastructure planning and funding components of the Local Government Act, the RMA and Land Transport Management Act into a single Planning Act and creating a separate Environment Act.
- Or – Retaining the three acts but installing overarching planning legislation that sets the regional strategic direction and the high-level parameters within which the acts are to operate.
- Or – Changing financial signals to promote sustainable decision making that integrates economic and environmental outcomes.
Because the last option could require substantial finance, it is the least likely to be agreed to.
But the other two options slot neatly into the current review of the three acts by the Productivity Commission.
I like the idea of a Environment Act and Planning Act.