Resource Legislation Amendment Bill a shambles

National’s much touted changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) are a shambles and the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill (RLA Bill) should not proceed the Green Party said today.

Parliament’s Local Government and Environment select committee is due to report the Bill back to the House by Tuesday 7 November.

“The Bill significantly increases Ministerial powers to interfere in district and regional plans and limits the public’s ability to comment on RMA plans and resource consents. It is likely to make the RMA and its implementation more complex and litigious and increase costs for councils and users of the Act," Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

“Ministerial power has also compromised the select committee’s consideration of the Bill.

“Select committees are not here to rubberstamp Ministers’ bills. They're here to make sure new laws work, after robust scrutiny of the Bill and public submissions. Environment Minister, Nick Smith has undermined this process.

The controversial Bill attracted 764 submissions. Businesses, infrastructure operators, environmental organisations and iwi had similar criticisms of new Ministerial regulation making powers and the loss of appeal rights.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer described the Ministerial regulation making as a “constitutional outrage,”  saying “due process is replaced by Executive fiat.” Federated Farmers called the Ministerial powers "excessive” and the provisions which allow central Government to intervene directly in local council plans "heavy handed.”  

The Green Party opposed the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill from the start.

“The RMA is a crucial foundation of New Zealand’s environmental law and planning system. Changes to it should be based on sound analysis and evidence and have broad cross party support so that they are enduring.  The Bill has neither. Many of the changes are driven by ideology rather than robust analysis and evidence," said Ms Sage.

“The Bill is not fit for purpose. It increases Ministerial power, will expedite development activities with few environmental safeguards and scant consideration of sustainable management, and will remove basic rights of public participation. It should not proceed.”

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Budget 2022: Greens call for urgency with nature-first climate investments

Budget 2022 shows progress on conservation commitments in the Green Party’s cooperation agreement Green Party achievements in the last Government ...
Read More

Story

Nature needs us to act right now

The Green Party welcomes the release of the implementation plan for Te Mana o te Taiao Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and calls on the ...
Read More

Story

Urgent action needed to bring natural environment back from the brink

The release today of Environment Aotearoa 2022 is a sobering reminder of what is at stake if the Government does not step up and take urgent action...
Read More

Story

Greens welcome Three Waters recommendations

The Green Party welcomes the recommendations of the Three Waters independent working group and urges the Government to seriously consider the repor...
Read More

Story

Green Party says Government needs to do better to protect our drinking water

The Green Party is calling on the Government to improve environmental standards so every New Zealander has access to clean, healthy drinking water.
Read More

Story

The time to protect our oceans is now

The Green Party is calling on the Government to support a strong global treaty at the United Nations to protect our oceans, as Greenpeace hands ove...
Read More