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


Take action to protect our oceans

We’re taking the health of our oceans seriously and our Thriving Oceans Plan sets out exactly how the Green Party will protect them so we all can e...

Thriving Oceans

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting ...
Read More

Farming For The Future

Here in Aotearoa, we can have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for people, and good for the planet. By maki...
Read More


More action on waste – Government funds recycling infrastructure, moves to standardise kerbside collections

$36.7m Government investment in high-tech recycling plants nationwide Plan to standardise and improve the nation’s kerbside collections As part o...
Read More


New rules for the outdoor storage of tyres

The Government is introducing environmental standards for tyres stored outdoors announced Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage. “A ...
Read More


Government announces plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items

Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem p...
Read More