RMA changes risk further damage to NZ’s reputation

Published: Sat 10 Aug 2013 12:27 PM
10 August 2013
RMA changes risk further damage to NZ’s reputation
National’s push to weaken our environmental laws while the world is watching our response to the botulism scare is economic sabotage, the Green Party said today.
Environment Minister Amy Adams has announced a further major shake-up of the Resource Management Act (RMA).
“The proposals attack the heart of the RMA and its sustainable management purpose and principles,” Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said today.
“They will make the Act an economic development act at the expense of our environment and local democracy.
“At present New Zealand is under the microscope from all our trading partners who are concerned that our clean, green image is a mirage.
“This is the time to strengthen our environmental law to help protect our environment and economy, not further weaken it.”
Ms Sage said 99% of the 13,277 public submissions on the Minister’s discussion document opposed or expressed serious concern about the proposals to change the purpose and principles of the RMA.
“Yet the Key Government is proceeding to do just that,” said Ms Sage.
“It is just not listening to New Zealanders with its proposals to gut our main environmental law.
“The changes would effectively throw out more than 20 years of case law about how the RMA should be interpreted. They will create uncertainty and complexity; not the simplicity the Government claims it wants.
“The changes promote quick decisions not sound decisions. Making it easier for high impact development to proceed will further erode our increasingly vulnerable clean green, 100% Pure New Zealand brand,” said Ms Sage.
“By damaging the 100% pure brand the Key Government is jeopardising our tourism industry and our economy which relies on the brand to sell our exports.
”We need to make our 100% pure New Zealand image real not undermine it as this Government is doing by promoting development at the environment’s expense.”

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