Time for some good old Key pragmatism: ditch the RMA reform until 2018

The Government?s plan to modernise the Resource Management Act appeared yesterday to be have hit the wall.

Meetings at Parliament next week to sign off revisions to the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill — which amends the RMA —have had to be cancelled.

Labour says that’s because the Cabinet cannot agree on what the changes should be.

The meetings were additional ones for the Local Government and Environment Committee which was to have considered an officials’ report on changes to the original RLA Bill.

This is a highly contentious piece of legislation which seeks to implement iwi participation agreements and strips back the notification and appeal process for resource consents.

It also establishes new “collaborative planning processes” but the Committee has heard a lengthy parade of objections to various bits of the Bill.

It was promoted with much fanfare in the first place last November by Environment Minister Nick Smith who said the 180 page Bill was about reducing the bureaucracy ?that gets in the way of creating jobs, building houses, and good environmental management.?

? It provides for greater national consistency, more responsive planning, simplified consenting and better alignment with other laws,? he said.

Labour?s Environment spokesperson, David Parker, who is a member of the Committee says the cancellation of the meetings is because the Government does not know how to proceed.

?Two special days of meetings scheduled for next week were cancelled yesterday, because cabinet has yet to make up its mind,? he said.

Committee chair, Scott Simpson, says the meetings were cancelled because the officials? report on the changes being made to the Bill is not ready.

He said he did not know why the report wasn’t ready but other sources say it is because Cabinet has delayed signing off the changes.

Simpson told POLITIK that because the official’s report was likely to be 300 pages or so, the Committee would need time to deliberate on it.

Both the size of the report and the delay suggest that the Bill has undergone a substantial rewrite.

Parker says ?The latest bungled amendments to the RMA by National are so flawed that it has been stuck with no progress since December last year!

?In Labour?s view, it is time for National to admit their latest RMA Bill does not help, and in fact makes things worse, and should be dumped,? he says.

Ever since National lost Northland to Winston and Peter Dunne decided to be a dick, National’s RMA reform for this term has been dead in the water. ? It makes sense to just park the whole thing until they’re no longer beholden to the politically senile bouffant.


Richard Harman, Politik