The Government’s resource management law changes have won Labour’s initial backing.
Environment Minister Nick Smith announced the proposed changes last week but backed away from National’s initial plan to amend the main principle clauses of the Resource Management Act (RMA) to give economic considerations greater weight.
The Government was forced to make concessions to the Maori Party, including a requirement to consult iwi “at the front end” of council planning through Iwi Participation Agreements, to get the numbers to send the Bill to a select committee.
But Labour’s new environment spokesman David Parker on Tuesday said Labour would also back the law through to the select committee stage.
“We have always said we would support sensible process improvements to the RMA. We are pleased National lost the battle to undermine the core environmental protections in the Act. These process changes are modest and will do little to fix the causes of the housing crisis. But they will have some positive impacts around the margins,” he said.
The reforms don’t go far enough, but they are another small step into a better direction.