Resource Management Act

I bet Dunne and Seymour feel like right nancies about now

Peter Dunne and David Seymour thought they’d help out Nick Smith with RMA reform.

Unfortunately for them he spat in their faces and preferred a solution that caves in to brownmail.

The Government and the Maori Party have struck a deal to back Resource Management Act reforms, despite a last-ditch bid from other parties to provide a better offer.

The announcement ensures the controversial Resource Legislation Amendment Bill, intended to speed up planning and consent laws, will pass into law after years of delays.

In a statement on Thursday, Maori Party co-leaders Marama Fox and Te Ururoa Flavell announced they had reached agreement to support the final stages of the legislation.

“We’ve worked hard on the outcomes to reach an agreement that we are satisfied with,” Flavell said.

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While Mummy Bill wants to keep the family together, Collins outlines some policy platforms

Bill English is using a mixture of bribery and fear of the unknown to cajole caucus into supporting him.

Judith Collins is offering up a policy prescription that shows she  isn’t a one trick pony with tax cuts like Bill and John were.

Judith Collins says she will not go ahead with tax cuts and may review iwis’ role in planning decisions if she is made Prime Minister.

Her policy agenda would also include major reforms of health and safety laws and the Resource Management Act (RMA).

Collins is standing for Prime Minister John Key’s job alongside Finance Minister Bill English and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman. She is the outsider in the contest, and has not yet received any public declarations of support from MPs.

The Corrections and Police Minister is known for her hardline stance on law and order, which has led to tougher bail laws, harsher sentencing for some offences, and the crushing of boy racers’ cars.

She supports the Government’s position of not reviewing the age of eligibility for pensions. For people who worked in manual labour “65 was a long time to wait”, she said.

But her stance on other issues, including tax cuts, means she cannot be easily categorised as right-wing. She is socially liberal and is the only one of the three candidates who voted to legalise same-sex marriage.

In an interview with the Herald today, she said tax cuts were not a priority for her. No constituent she had spoken to was asking for tax relief – which has been proposed by Key, possibly in the form of a “family package”.

“What they’re saying to me is, and certainly my area in the South Auckland … is we need infrastructure,” Collins said.

“Most people don’t work in the Beehive. They don’t live in luxury homes. Most people actually get by, and they don’t want to spend an hour and a half or two hours getting to work.”

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Taniwha rejoice! National yields to brown-mail to get neutered RMA reform through

It looks like National has caved to brownmail and given taniwha hope everywhere that they will be able to make extra vast amounts of cash around the country.

The government has reached an agreement with the Māori party, which gave it the numbers to pass the Resource Management Act (RMA) through its final stages in Parliament.

The Māori Party is satisfied iwi will be thoroughly consulted and economic benefits have not trumped environmental protection.

Earlier this year the Māori Party warned it would withdraw its support if iwi was not given more say over how resources were managed.   Read more »

National’s RMA reform is neutered and comatose

They really should just shelve it until next term.  

It’s a watered down waste of time and resources.  Oh the irony.

The government’s latest attempt to reform the Resource Management Act continues to run into trouble, with the chairman of the select committee conceding on Thursday that the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill will miss its third report back deadline of Nov. 7.

In part, the delay appears related to the fact that Environment Minister Nick Smith is still negotiating with the Maori Party over aspects of the bill, which is struggling to gain sufficient support from government support partners to pass into law.

Prime Minister John Key said on Monday he believed agreements had been reached with the two-MP Maori Party, but Smith confirmed in a text message on Wednesday that “discussions with the Maori Party are progressing and constructive but not yet concluded” and were “some time away”.

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For once the cries of racism are real

Winston Peters has labelled National’s pandering to Maori interests as racism, and he is dead right.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has labelled the National Party “racists” over their drafting and support of controversial Resource Management Act reform.

“They’re supporting racist legislation and I’m proving it by the number of references in this legislation,” he said.

Peters made a submission to a Parliament select committee on Thursday, telling MPs his party would fully support RMA reforms on the condition “separatist and race-based proposed laws, starting with the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill” were removed.

“Sir Bob Jones had to fork out $4500 for a resource consent and a cultural impact assessment, after consulting with 13 iwi, all because a reinstated window looked over a designated heritage site in Auckland.

“Can any MP tell the public where the 13 iwi have come from?” Peters said.

“National has already altered the RMA to transform iwi into consenting authorities.”

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Winston and Don ride against Maori preferential treatment in the RMA reforms

Don Brash and Winston Peters have joined forces, unofficially, opposing Maori preferential treatment in the RMA reforms.

Brash, best known for his controversial Orewa speech in 2004 arguing against special status for Maori, told the committee that the National Party had always accepted fundamental reforms to the RMA were needed.

“If I was asked what single measure the Government could take to raise living standards in New Zealand, I would without hesitation answer, ‘Reform the RMA’.”

However, the proposed legislation was “pitifully limited” and would do little to resolve the existing problems, Brash said.

“By widespread consent, these reforms barely scratch the surface of what is needed.”

In addition, the “extremely modest” changes had been “bought at the cost of greatly extending the rights of those with a Maori ancestor to have a preferential involvement in the decision-making process”.

The proposed legislation would vastly extend the preferential treatment already offered to Maori in the RMA process through the iwi agreements, Brash said.

“This is surely a recipe for further delay, for corruption, and for anger on behalf of the rest of the community…

“It is incomprehensible to me how a National Party-led government could propose a bill which violates the very principle of democratic governance.”

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Get on with it then

John Key has said he will work with any party to get RMA reform through, even if that means dealing with Winston Peters.

Prime Minister John Key isn’t ruling out ditching concessions made to the Maori Party over Resource Management Act reform if other parties were prepared to support the National Party’s preferred approach.

His comments follow a speech last night by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters in which he complained his party supported fundamental reforms to the RMA which other parties had rejected but the government had not approached NZ First for support.

In a state of the nation speech in Auckland today, Key said more work needed to be done to lift the supply of new houses in the city to meet its growing population and the government’s priority was reforming the RMA.    Read more »

Winston plays the same old race card, except he’s right

Winston Peters really is a bit of a one-trick pony.

He’s played the race card yet again; this time over the RMA, and this time he is dead right.

Changes to the Resource Management Act are the result of the Maori Party “brownmailing” National and will take New Zealand down the path of separatism, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says.

Mr Peters has focused on the reform of the RMA in his state-of-the-nation speech, delivered at the Orewa Rotary Club — the same venue where former National leader Don Brash made his controversial remarks on what he saw as a trend to racial separatism.

The NZ First leader said that under the new RMA bill, every council would be required by law to invite local iwi to participate in the formulation of policy plans, including water management plans.

“This is just the starting point,” Mr Peters told the audience. “Iwi really want much, much more.”

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Here’s a worry: The left supports National’s RMA bill, the right doesn’t

The government has been slapping themselves on the back that they are going to get their RMA ‘reform’ through the parliament with Labour support.

Peter Dunne is problematic, but Act is now upset as well with the lacklustre reforms.

The Government has failed to get the backing of two of its support partners for major planning reforms but has still been able to progress the law changes with votes from the Maori Party and Labour.

The Act Party and United Future voted against the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill this afternoon at its first reading.

The long-awaited reforms aim to simplify planning rules and make them more consistent around the country, involve iwi more in planning decisions, and place greater emphasis on the supply of housing.   Read more »

Maori to have bigger say in nobbled RMA reform in exchange for first reading support only

It seems it’s RMA reform when you aren’t really having RMA reform.

But what can we really expect when Nick Smith is the minister running this debacle?

The Government will introduce its long-awaited Resource Management Act reforms to Parliament next week after securing the support of the Maori Party.

The reforms to the country’s main planning document stalled two years ago when National’s support partners refused to back them because of their potential impact on the environment.

That impasse has now been broken, and Government planned to hold the first reading of the legislation next week. The most controversial proposals around environmental protections had been diluted, Environment Minister Nick Smith said.

Dr Smith said today the bill would support business growth and housing development while also ensuring more effective environmental management.

Its main changes would be new national planning templates for councils, faster and more flexible planning processes, reduced requirements for minor consents, and stronger national direction on issues such as housing.

Controversial changes to sections six and seven of the Act, which set out environmental bottom lines, have been “pulled back”.

The only change in these sections would be to the management of risks from natural hazards.

Dr Smith said the Maori Party had agreed to back the legislation to a select committee.

He described it as a “compromise bill” because of the environmental concessions, which had “changed the tone” of sections six and seven.

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