National’s dismantling of the RMA risks another Bexley or Houston

National’s plan to allow developers to bypass the Resource Management Act (RMA) risks another Bexley or Houston, the Green Party said today.

“The RMA is not perfect and needs reform. National’s previous ad hoc changes to the RMA have weakened our environmental law and reduced people’s right to have say about development in their communities. Its urban planning proposals are more of the same and another attack on the RMA,” said Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

The comments come on the back of Bill English’s statement that National will bring in new urban planning laws to bypass the RMA and speed up infrastructure projects like new motorways and housing.

“We need the RMA to protect communities against poorly planned developments that compromise resilience.

“The rules in the RMA that require developers to get a resource consent are there to ensure that subdivision and infrastructure projects are appropriately sited, are well planned to avoid or reduce their environmental and social impacts, and that the public has a voice in their own communities.

“The last thing we need is more haphazard subdivision and development built without thinking about issues such as natural hazards and effects on the environment. That happened with Christchurch’s Bexley subdivision, which ignored environmental and natural hazard issues. Bexley was built on former reclaimed land and wetland. The entire suburb had to be abandoned after extensive liquefaction and land damage as a result of  the 2011 earthquakes.

“Experts are saying that the flooding in Houston in the United States has been made much worse because of aggressive property development and extensive hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt that cannot absorb rainfall and increase stormwater runoff.

“We need the RMA to promote good planning and sound development of compact, liveable cities, not be a charter for property developers of shoddy, poorly planned subdivisions and new motorways where the public is shut out from having a say.

“The Green Party wants coherent reform of the RMA. In government, it will establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into New Zealand’s environmental management and planning laws.

“The RMA was ground-breaking in its time but since then, more of our birds are closer to extinction, climate and water pollution have increased, and our cities are more clogged with cars. It’s time to do things differently,” said Ms Sage.

 

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

New Zealand’s housing market is becoming increasingly divided between people who own their own homes and those forced to rent for life...
Take Action

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Minister welcomes report of nation’s household plastic rubbish, recycling practices

A new report on New Zealand’s plastic rubbish and recycling practices is being welcomed by the Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage.
Read More

Story

Flood of support for Top of the South catchment

Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Governm...
Read More

Policy

Healthy nature

Nature sustains us and is the basis of all life.  In Government the Greens have led the way in making sure our precious plants and animals are pr...
See More

Story

OIA reforms mean more attention to nature and cultural values

The Green Party welcome proposed changes to the Overseas Investment Act (OIA) that will see stronger controls on applications by overseas interests...
Read More

Story

California is burning, the US must not walk away from the Paris Agreement

Green Party Co-leader James Shaw has expressed his exasperation at the decision by the United States to officially withdraw from the Paris Agreemen...
Read More

Story

Minister announces fresh funding for community-led Hokianga environment project

A unique project enhancing the mana and wellbeing of the environment and the people of the Hokianga is to receive $300000 over three years from the...
Read More