INDEPENDENT NEWS

Reported Back RM Bill Will Fail To Deliver

Published: Wed 9 May 2001 03:49 PM
Reported Back Resource Management Bill Will Fail To Deliver
"The Local Government and Environment Select Committee report on the Resource Management Amendment Bill has failed to deliver on key issues," commented President of Federated Farmers President, Alistair Polson.
"Farmers will be bitterly disappointed to see that a resource hungry, three year central government process has led to mere tinkering".
Committee Chairperson, Jeanette Fitzsimons has acknowledged the implementation of the Act has been variable both in quality and approach but yet the Committee has done nothing to address this fundamental concern.
"While the federation is yet to see the full report it is clear that key issues have not been addressed, said Mr Polson.
"An opportunity has been lost. Unless the fundamental issues are addressed there is no point proceeding. Changing things around the edges will do nothing for better environmental outcomes. Incentives must be introduced to reduce the costs of the planning process on both ratepayers and landowners.
"It is totally unacceptable for the committee to suggest there was no good reason to fundamentally change the Act. The last ten years provide a good reason.
Expenditure on the planning process has been excessive. Ministry for the Environment figures show that the average council spending on the development of plans amounted to $2.5 million. Many councils have a population of fewer than 15,000 people and pay for these plans on property value rates. Nationally over $200 million dollars of ratepayers money has been spent. This is on top of the approximate $15 million federation members are spending directly and indirectly participating in the planning process.
"Even if a fraction of the money spent on the planning process had gone on the ground the environment would be better off", Mr Polson concluded.
ENDS

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