Policy Parrot blog on RMA reforms

Policy Parrot says:

Finally reforms to the RMA!

Although the devil is in the detail and subsequent interpretations of the law it is fair to say that the RMA reforms are welcomed with the warm arms given by granny at Christmas lunch.

The reforms are long overdue.

So far the news is skant. We can expect certain consents to be quicker and easier. This Parrot is holding its breath in the hope that the reforms include a range of recommended changes by the industry and not just a bunch of touchy feely changes that mean nothing and deliver less.

If the changes are simply as reported by the New Zealand Herald you can expect the property industry to be rightly pissed off. We wanted big changes not tossy little tweaks for retaining walls.

But given the Herald’s track record of keeping the facts straight is about as good as Zimbabwe’s record for stamping out corruption we don’t need to react yet.

But on the face of it they look shit.

Here is a low down of the salient changes:

  • Halve from 20 to 10 working days the time limit for consents for straightforward applications such as adding a deck or veranda
  • require fixed-fee options for certain consents, so there is certainty of cost
  • Give Councils the ability to waive resource consents for insignificant variations from planning rules such as a retaining wall being slightly over a permitted height
  • Require Councils to provide a minimum of 10 years of urban land supply to cope with projected population growth
  • Make subdivisions non-notified unless they are clearly not of the type anticipated by the relevant plan and zoning

So far this Parrot is less than impressed. There is nothing here of substance. In fact there is high chance these will do nothing at all. This Parrot has grave concerns.

This Parrot ate dinner with Amy Adams and suggested that she carefully listen to the industry when making decisions about reforms. It appears on face value she hasn’t and she can be assured that next time her fingers are in the Parrot’s cage they will be bitten.

Check out this story from the NZ Herald.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.