Proposed changes to RMA discriminatory and unfair

ContactLee Short, Chairman
Democracy Action
09 281 5173
[email protected]

Auckland, Mar 07, 2017 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Local Government and Environment Select Committee report on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill, which was released on Monday, includes changes to the Resource Management Act which are undemocratic and would weaken the role of local government, says Democracy Action spokesperson Lee Short.

"The bill is discriminatory and unfair, as it would significantly increase the power of iwi authorities while removing or restricting basic rights of public participation in both plan-making and consenting decisions."

"This is a radical change to the way local democracy works in New Zealand."

"The Bill creates co-governance type frameworks for iwi to have decision-making power over and above local democracy. This includes iwi and hapū participation in the preparation or change of policy statements and plans, as well the consenting and monitoring processes.”

"The Bill will make the RMA and its implementation more complex, and increase costs for councils, ratepayers and users."

The report admits that iwi-initiated arrangements could create uncertainty for local authorities and impose unforeseen resource pressures.

"This Bill is a gift to the Maori Party, and a slap in the face to the broad range of submitters who are opposed to it, including a great many regional and district councils, infrastructure owners, environmental organisations and numerous other groups and individuals."

The Bill will come back to the House for its second reading this week.