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

Government throws the environment on the scrap heap

The Government has shown its disdain for nature by undermining and cutting programmes which protect and conserve our environment.
Read More

Story

Further environmental mismanagement on the cards

The Government’s resource management reforms will add to the heavy and ever-growing burden this Government is loading on to our environment. 
Read More

Story

Scrapping Significant Natural Areas shows significant neglect

The Government adding Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) to its already roaring environmental policy bonfire is an assault on the future of wildlife ...
Read More

Story

Say hello to NZ’s most anti-environment government in decades

The Government is giving big industry a free pass to bulldoze New Zealand’s precious native wildlife. 
Read More

Story

Govt trashing nature for its industry mates

The Government’s repeal of the Natural and Built Environment Act is rushed, ideologically motivated, and will be hugely damaging to the health of o...
Read More

Story

Green Party calls for stronger action by Auckland Council to protect urban trees and native forest

The Green Party is calling on Auckland Council to do more to protect urban trees and housing developer Aedifice Property Group to restore and repla...
Read More