Here’s an exert from Nick Smith’s speech to the 2009 New Zealand Planning Institute Conference:
I acknowledge, that while the bulk of submissions have been supportive of the Bill, there is considerable debate over the provisions that remove the non-complying activity class, that restrict blanket urban tree protection, that limit plan appeal rights and which change the decision maker over designations. The Government will be carefully considering these issues over the next couple of months, as we finalise the amendments to the Act.
The matters he lists there are the substance of the bill, and what he is saying is that by listening to over 600 different submissions telling him how his rushed RMA amendment is crap legislation that will slow down the resource consent process and remove legal rights.*
A cynic might say that Nick Smith is just making pains to be appearing to listen and the legislation will not actually be changed to reflect submitters’ concerns. But I’m an optimist. I like to believe that Smith may have learnt the value of parliamentary process and the reforms will be improved for it.
Now, if only he could share his new-found wisdom with Rodney Hide!
* [The irony is that small to medium businesses, which National ‘represents’ would lose more legal rights that anyone else under the new bill as they would be removed from planning processes by the new trade competition regulations! Perhaps this realisation is what he is referring to?]