RMA changes must not risk what we hold dear

Proposed changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) appear on first reading to be a boon for seabed miners and property developers, the Green Party said today.

The National Government today released a new Bill which proposes changes to the RMA, laws governing conservation lands, and the Exclusive Economic Zone.

“The Government has repeatedly attacked the RMA to weaken its environmental protection, reduce public participation, and fast track high impact development. The more than 200 proposed changes in the Bill need to be carefully scrutinised to ensure New Zealand’s natural environment and sustainable urban development are not compromised for short-term financial gains,” said Green Party Environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“The Bill appears to significantly increase the Minister’s powers at the expense of local councils and to further politicise environmental decision making by having the Minister, rather than the Environmental Protection Agency, appoint hearing panels for developments in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone,” she said.

“The Bill risks having a chilling effect on councils’ ability to regulate in the community’s interest. For example, under proposed changes, councils could be reluctant to protect native plants and trees on private land as the Environment Court could require the council to purchase affected land if protections were deemed to put an ‘unfair and unreasonable burden’ on landholders.

“The Green Party recognises that RMA processes can be improved, but communities and the public need to be consulted on plans and new development. We need effective environmental safeguards, robust and well informed planning and consent decisions, not hasty, narrow, fast track processes.

“The proposed RMA changes must not erode protection of the places we hold most dear; our beaches, rivers, and natural areas. They must not promote ugly urban sprawl at the expense of liveable towns and cities well connected to public transport.

“Fast tracking economic development should not be the sole focus of changes to the RMA. The Government needs to ensure its law changes maintain New Zealand’s quality of life -– which our environment is at the heart of.

“The devil will inevitably be in the detail of National’s proposed changes”, said Ms Sage.

Action

Virtual Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

We need to remove all public money managed by the Government from climate-changing fossil fuel industries.
Take Action

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

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been undervalued and many barely....
Take Action

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public consultation

The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Managem...
Read More

Story

Strongest ever water reforms mean swimmable rivers within a generation

The Green Party says major freshwater reforms announced today provide the strongest ever protections of our waterways, to help ensure the next gene...
Read More

Story

Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery

The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a susta...
Read More

Story

Reducing waste and creating jobs - Minister announces 2020 Waste Minimisation Fund applications open, focus on COVID-19 recovery

Creating jobs in the vital waste reduction sector is the focus of the latest application round for the Waste Minimisation Fund, which opens today.
Read More

Story

COVID-19 recovery: Greens call for investment in people and nature

As Aotearoa starts focusing on the economic recovery from COVID-19 the Green Party is calling for an economic stimulus package fit for the 21st cen...
Read More

Policy

Environmental Protection Policy

Our kids have a birth right to swim in clean rivers, fish in the sea, and walk in pristine forests. Real prosperity means clean rivers, clean air, ...
See More