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.

 

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

RMA reform must ensure a healthy environment and community wellbeing

The Green Party welcomes the release of the first draft of part of new legislation to replace the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), and urges the...
Read More

Story

Greens welcome progress on hard to recycle and single use plastics, but more needs to be done

The Green Party welcomes progress on the phase-out of some hard to recycle plastics and some single-use plastics, but says more must be done.
Read More

Story

Stronger biosecurity protections at our border and for our iconic kauri

$28 million (as part of $32 million over five years) to roll out a National Pest Management Plan to protect kauri from dieback. $8.9 million for a...
Read More

Story

Green Party dismayed at delay in intensive winter grazing regulations

“The Government’s decision to cave into agribusiness and delay the implementation of critical regulations on intensive winter grazing is a bad outc...
Read More

Story

Seaweek: Green Party calls on New Zealanders to make submissions supporting Waiheke Rāhui to protect declining kaimoana

The Green Party supports the Rāhui placed around Waiheke Island by Ngāti Pāoa to protect declining kaimoana and as part of Seaweek, is asking New Z...
Read More

Story

Green Party calls on Government to stop dirty fishing practice of bottom trawling

The Green Party is calling on the Government to urgently stop dirty, degrading fishing practices in areas most vulnerable to destruction.
Read More