The Green Party welcomes Labour’s commitment to reform the Resource Management Act, but says a Green voice is crucial to ensure the environment is not put at risk.
Green Party Environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said today:
“Our environment is a taonga, which we have a responsibility to protect. At the same time, we also need to build more affordable, secure homes for people to live in.
“The Green Party is clear that the current RMA is past its used-by date and needs reform.
“However, it is absolutely essential that the Green Party is able to guide these reforms alongside Labour, to ensure that development does not come at the expense of our precious natural heritage, or the ability of the public to have their say.
“During the next Government, the Greens will be the voice at the table arguing for strong, science-based environmental bottom lines. This is critical, given these changes will likely set a framework for the whole country to abide by.
“We have a chance to create planning laws which promote low-emissions, connected urban centres where people can live and work, and flourishing natural environments.
“However, we saw in the proposed RMA Fast Track legislation that Labour was willing to deprioritise environmental protections and public input into decisions.
“The reforms must improve environmental outcomes, not just uphold the status quo. We need to shift to an approach where we seek to undo environmental damage, not just stop it getting worse.
“Any changes must also be done in partnership with tangata whenua, so that Te Tiriti is upheld and matauranga Māori is taken into account.
“We have seen this term that the Greens are the party who will stand up for nature. It’s essential that we remain so as we overhaul such a crucial piece of legislation.”