RMA not responsible for housing crisis – the Government is

A survey showing that only a tiny fraction of resource consent applications are declined makes a nonsense of the Government’s claims that the Resource Management Act is getting in the way of housing development, the Green Party says.

 

A survey showing that only a tiny fraction of resource consent applications are declined makes a nonsense of the Government’s claims that the Resource Management Act is getting in the way of housing development, the Green Party says.

Environment Minister Nick Smith is expected to announce his plans for reform of the RMA tomorrow, after the National Government’s attempts to weaken the protection of the environment failed to get support from its minority partners in the last election term.

Now, with just the support of ACT’s one MP David Seymour, National can pass legislation that undermines our environmental protections.

“The National Government is chomping at the bit to use its tiny majority to weaken the environmental protections in the RMA so it favours speculators, but the data shows the RMA is not holding up house building at all,” Green Party RMA spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.

“Results from the most recent survey of local authorities in 2013 show just 0.27 percent of applications were declined and 97 per cent of resource consents were processed on time. Of 34,000 consents processed to a decision, just 239 nationwide were appealed against. Hardly proof of a broken system.

“The same survey shows that a whopping 96 percent of subdivision consents were processed on time, and only 2 percent were even publicly notified.

“National has created a myth around the RMA in order to pass law that will hurt our environment.

“Blaming the RMA for everything is a distraction from the Government’s failure to address the housing crisis by building affordable homes, and ending the huge tax incentives for speculators to invest in the housing market.

“National needs to roll up its sleeves and build more houses, not waste peoples time making changes to our environment protection law that won’t make a bit of difference to the number of houses being built.

“The Green Party would increase the supply of affordable housing by undertaking a programme of state building, introduce a capital gains tax, and introduce a Progressive Ownership initiative to allow low income families to 'rent-to-own' government-built houses at an affordable price.

“The Green Party’s policy addresses the real drivers of housing affordability and will make home ownership a possibility for kiwis who have been priced out of the market under National,” Ms Genter said.

Link to MFE survey of local authorities: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default/files/media/RMA/rma-survey-2012-201...

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