Media release from Fish & Game NZ
Fish & Game Opposes Attack On RMA
Fish & Game NZ has joined leading environmental organisations warning the Government about the perils of re-writing the RMA.
Environmental Defence Society, Ecologic, WWF, Forest & Bird, Greenpeace and Fish & Game last week sent an open letter to Environment Minister Amy Adams outlining their concerns about a Technical
Advisory Group (TAG) report on proposed changes to the Act.
“Fish & Game has previously stated that proposed changes to the RMA would be a disaster for both the environment and New
Zealand’s ‘100% Pure, clean green’ economic advantage – that view holds more firmly than ever,” says chief executive
“The recommendations would substantially lower environmental standards throughout the country – and that goes completely
against the core purpose of this legislation.”
Removing the terms ‘protect’, ‘preserve’, ‘maintain’ and ‘enhance’ from the RMA “smacks of political opportunism to fit
a perceived Government economic growth agenda”, says Mr Johnson.
“It’s an out-and-out attack on the environment, paving the way for rampant and unsustainable development.”
A key example is the proposal to scrap clause 7(h) which specifically references ‘protection of the habitat of trout and
salmon’ – this would remove what water resource developers see as a road block to their plans to privately profit from
the public water resource, Mr Johnson points out.
“Because trout and salmon have the highest water quality and flow requirements, the clause relating to the protection of
their habitat benefits all in-stream values – introduced and indigenous species alike – essentially offering some
safeguard for the health of our waterways.”
The RMA isn’t broken and doesn’t need fixing, adds Mr Johnson: “What it needs is consistent and forthright
implementation by those responsible for its administration.
“The recent Horizons One Plan decision of the Environment Court, which establishes limits around pollution and injects
some real environmental sustainability into agriculture, shows the current system is working for the environment, not
against it as the TAG proposals would .”
Fish & Game NZ is also concerned at the TAGs recommendation to axe section 7(c) of the RMA, which requires the maintenance and
enhancement of amenity values.
“This clause is central to the protection of outdoor recreation. Any attempt to remove it will be of grave concern to
many thousands of New Zealanders.”