RMA reform bill introduced

Simply as a matter of record, Alf advises constituents that Parliament this afternoon is debating the Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Bill.

The Bill provides for:

• more efficient decision making on infrastructure

• a reduction in the costs and delays of consenting

• the streamlining of planning processes and;

• the restriction of anti-competitive appeals motivated by trade competition and other vexatious and frivolous objections

• improved efficiency and effectiveness of national instruments and central government guidance

• the establishment of an Environmental Protection Authority

• an improvement in enforcement and increase compliance

Environment Minister Nick Smith has moved it be considered by the Local Government and Environment Committee, with an instruction the committee report finally to the House on or before 19 June.

In his speech at the first reading, Smith said –

…the Resource Management Act needs fixing and, as promised, the Government is introducing a Bill to reform the RMA within 100 days of taking office.

Over the nearly 18 years since the RMA became law there has been growing criticism about the slow and costly plan preparation and consenting processes.

Decision making processes under the RMA must become more efficient. The amendments in this Bill will provide timely and welcome support to other government measures to stimulate the economy.

Smith confirmed that the RMA will remain the principal statute for managing the use of our natural and physical resources and no changes to the purpose or principles of the RMA are proposed.

The motion passed its first reading with 110 votes in favour and 10 against.

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