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New blog – Anton Oliver

Written By: - Date published: 5:20 pm, July 24th, 2013 - 46 comments
Categories: blogs, Conservation, sustainability - Tags: ,

Check out this post by former All Black Captain Anton Oliver on the blog over at New Zealand Story.

THE GUTTING OF THE RMA … THE HEART OF KIWI VALUES: BY ANTON OLIVER

During my professional playing days as an All Black I was fortunate to travel extensively around the world. The more I got to see, the greater my appreciation of how beautiful and unique New Zealand was, and how fortunate I was to call it my home. …

In 1991, when the Resource Management Act (RMA) was passed, it was a means of providing at least some environmental and social integrity to development and planning processes. It gave all New Zealanders – not just those wealthy enough to afford lawyers – a chance to be heard and most significantly it facilitated decentralised decision making: local decisions made by local people.

It protected our environment and our economy based on the premise of sustainable resource management. And what’s more, it was politically robust, in that it received the blessing of both major parties and the people they represented.

The RMA was a ground-breaking statute when introduced. Being an insecure lot, we Kiwis duly basked in the global adulation heaped upon us for our foresight in setting such a statute in place.

Now, the RMA has become the subject of much derision. To many of us, it represents bureaucracy, inefficiency, pen-pushing do-gooders and paper shufflers who engage us in an excessively long and costly process that gets in the way of us doing stuff.

Overwhelming apathy and misunderstanding of what the RMA is trying to do is deeply worrying, at a time when the Government is fundamentally changing this law that has protected so much of what we love and hold dear about our country.

The Government has floated its wholesale changes to the RMA on the premise that the Act is “is a bureaucratic and costly nightmare”, it hinders economic development and gives the environment too much weight – none of which National has, or can, back up with evidence. In fact, the hard evidence, from Adams’ own Ministry for the Environment, points to quite the contrary: of 36,154 resource consent applications in 2010-11 only 0.56% were declined; 95% were processed on time; and only 1% were appealed. And if the environment is “given too much weight”, why are environmental standards falling? …

New Zealanders’ general apathy, lack of awareness or understanding of the core purpose of the Act has enabled the Government to sell you a lemon whilst benefiting a few big industry supporters. I implore you to think about what sort of New Zealand you want to live in, and what sort of New Zealand you want your kids to inherit. It isn’t too late to act – you can make your views known by writing to Environment Minister Adams or Prime Minister John Key, as well as visiting your local MP.

Anton Oliver is a former All Blacks captain, environmentalist and ambassador for Water Conservation Orders: www.outstandingrivers.org.nz.

Go read the full post.


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46 comments on “New blog – Anton Oliver”

  1. Tim 1

    ” …… might be worth following”
    I’d give that a definite yes. A no BS, non-BS Artist sort of guy who seems to be able to recognise Emperors without clobber.

    Time to step up others!

    • r0b 1.1

      The quoted text is no longer in the post after I did a quick edit – oops! – but still applies, might be worth following….

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Straight clear message with the facts. Much appreciated.

  3. Matthew Hooton 3

    “The RMA was a ground-breaking statute when introduced. Being an insecure lot, we Kiwis duly basked in the global adulation heaped upon us for our foresight in setting such a statute in place.”

    I was 19 and working in parliament in 1991 when the then National-led Government passed the RMA. I do not recall the “global adulation” that Anton Oliver refers to.

    Does anyone have any sources for the “global adulation”?

    • muzza 3.1

      Hooton run along little agent!

      Oliver at least has some credibility, as a professional, and with his post, and seems to associate with being a Kiwi.

      Not something you relate to , is it, which is why you ended up with your mouth over the glory hole, at age 19!

    • chrissy 3.2

      Hooton
      Go suck a lemon.

    • karol 3.3

      You perhaps weren’t looking in the right direction?

      NATURE, SOCIETY, AND STATE: An Antipodean Perspective by Pyar Ali Memon, p209

      New Zealand’s Resource Management Act of 1991 (henceforth the
      Resource Management Act, or the Act) has received considerable international acclaim as an environmental statute.

      Centre for Environmental Law Volume 5 2001 Articles

      Integrated Resource Management in New Zealand
      – Ulrich Klein

      New Zealand’s Resource Management Act 1991 (“RMA”) has been praised as one of the world’s most progressive pieces of environmental legislation. Along with its guiding purpose, the Act’s holistic approach has attracted considerable attention. This paper explores “Integrated Resource Management” (“IRM”) in New Zealand, focusing on policy, plan and rule-making under the RMA.

    • tricledrown 3.4

      Hooton is worried an articulate intelligent well respected all round nice guy is getting the message across!

    • Yes 3.5

      Wikipedia has a great write up of the introduction of the format by labour and carried on by national. Dual party support..a great passage of parliament on an important Act.

      Problem: 1991 was the year the All Blacks lost the World Cup and the NZ Music Awards were not held – there is no global adulation that year in 1991

      I checked Wikipedia on 1991 world circuit and there is no global adulation report for the RMA.

      Dow Jones hit record highs

      Soviet Union splits up big time – Communism falls over

      So we are just absolutely clear – Anton has been living where in NZ lately – oh Toulon – isnt that just up from Opotiki

      • Colonial Viper 3.5.1

        Anton could live on Mars, and with his heart where it is he’d still be more of a NZer than most of the fakes in Wellington.

      • karol 3.5.2

        From the links I provided, I think the RMA was greatly admired from those fairly expert in the field of such legislation.

        It probably didn’t get the X Factor kind of, MSM-dross adulation, but it does sound like, internationally, it was seen as ground breaking legislation.

        As Anton is majorly into environmental issues, he probably was very aware of the adulation it got internationally from some people.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.5.3

        Soviet Union splits up big time – Communism falls over

        Well, the USSR did split but it wasn’t communism that fell over – it was state capitalism.

    • felix 3.6

      Who gives a damn what Matthew remembers? His fellow Hollowman John Key can’t remember the Springbok tour FFS.

    • ScottGN 3.7

      You jumped on this pretty quick. Which must mean that like a good little Tory spin-meister you’re trying to dampen down a potential conflagration?

    • lurgee 3.8

      ‘I do not recall the “global adulation” that Anton Oliver refers to.’

      There’s this thing called irony, Matthew, and I hope to God you were deploying it in your own post.

    • Mary 3.9

      Don’t those quotes from John Key just show what a complete and utter hypocrite he is? I particularly like this one – reminds me of what this government did in the carers case removing the the right to merely test whether the new rules around assistance for caring for adult disabled children breaches s 19 of NZBORA, and when all there was at stake was no more than a declaration:

      “There are times when we have to stand up for our rights, and the rights of our neighbours and friends, and indeed the rights of people we totally disagree with, or else these rights will begin to erode away. And this, I say to you, is one of those times. Because this bill is an assault on what it means to be a New Zealander, and this bill is an abuse of the trust we have in the government to protect the institutions that make us proud to call this country home.”

      Guess it’s our fault for not standing up for our rights.

  4. muzza 4

    Good to see some high profile names getting stuck in, using simple information, and nailing some facts to it.

    NZ need more of these high profiles standing up, because much as the messenger should not matter over the content, the reality is, that it does matter, and if the content is sound, brilliant!

    • Saarbo 4.1

      Yes, will be interesting to see what the National Party strategists do about this. Anton Oliver has the the type of profile to gain some really useful exposure for this issue. Hooten understands this hence the reason he’s not mucking around in trying to discredit him.

  5. Molly 5

    Was disillusioned with Anton Oliver’s stance over the Project Hayes windfarm, down south.

    Will be interesting to see what he is saying a few years down the track.

    • karol 5.1

      Yes. As I recall, he was a bit of a NIMBY about it.

      • weka 5.1.1

        I’d be a nimby about it too. If people in the North Island want more power, then they can make decisions about their own land bases about how to generate it. If I had to choose between having less electricity or another dam on the Clutha or a windfarm on the Lammerlaws, I’d be completely ok with having less electricity. Before accusations of nimbyism get thrown around, please ask why so much more power is needed, and what is being lost. Also consider that the people that opposed the windfarm were locals who stood up and engage in the democratic process. That should be applauded.

        • felix 5.1.1.1

          Agree about asking why so much is needed, and also about engaging in the democratic process.

          Having said that, I’m totally ok with the windfarm in my backyard, and all of the nimbyists who objected to it can get fucked. None of them had any problem ruining my beautiful surroundings with their clifftop mansions, but as soon as something impacts on their multi million dollar view it’s the end of the world.

          • Molly 5.1.1.1.1

            We had the same result with a Meridian planned windfarm in Awhitu, Auckland which visually impacted on very few properties but took advantage of those west coast winds. One reason given for objection, the sight and sound would scare the horses. I was hoping that they would make a proposal to go into the sea, those oil and gas rebates that Simon Bridges is currently handing out would go a long way to subsidising such schemes.

            As for Project Hayes, I believe, the proposal needed to be weighed up with our collective responsibility towards climate change, as well as our local environmental and aesthetic concerns. I understand that the end result was not a reduced windfarm, but a complete lack.

            (@felix: Yep, I would also put my hand up for one in my backyard – is that a new acronym? YPIMBY)

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2

          If people in the North Island want more power, then they can make decisions about their own land bases about how to generate it.

          1.) Building wind farms on land isn’t the best idea. Much better to build them out to sea.
          2.) Communities work by cross-subsidising.
          3.) Wind is something that takes to cross-subsidising really well. Build multiple wind farms around the country connected via smart grid and the whole country gets good, reliable power.

          Build them only locally and so that they only supply locally and the local power supply will be inherently intermittent.

          Also consider that the people that opposed the windfarm were locals who stood up and engage in the democratic process. That should be applauded.

          Democracy isn’t a few people whinging about their back yard but the entire community discussing what’s best for the community.

    • weka 5.2

      The other guy said this “There will, one day, be new hydro projects on the Clutha.”. Which means pro-development. Wind farms for local power production in a powering down or even steady-state economy are one thing, large scale wind farms intended to supply power to people far away, in a society that doesn’t understand the meaning of finite and shits in its own nest, are just encouraging different kinds of pollution. Windfarms with that kind of mentality do fuck all for mitigating climate change or peak oil.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        The South Island already has plenty of power. Once we succeed, its the North Island which is screwed.

  6. Sable 6

    Probably make more of an impact than Shearer. New candidate for Labour leader, maybe?

  7. newsense 7

    purposeful, urgent and some might say a little eloquent even!

    Leadership in defence of some of the NZ values we haven’t heard a lot about recently.

  8. Sanctuary 8

    Now that site looks damned good.

  9. What is Oliver’s business interests?

    • lprent 9.1

      Wikipedia is your friend – perhaps you should read it as a first baby step…
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Oliver

      • Brett Dale 9.1.1

        wow he went to Oxford, hats off to the guy!

        • McFlock 9.1.1.1

          Kronfeld and Wilson are no brain slouches, either.

          Very interesting period for the Highlanders – and not just because we were winning 🙂

          • Winston Smith 9.1.1.1.1

            Glory days because there wasn’t full professionalism so Otago Uni had more pulling power where as now young rugby players go straight into academies….

            I don’t think its improved NZ rugby

            • vto 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Professional rugby has turned it into something like a church where all the participants churned out speak the same, look the same, promote the same, follow the mantra, succumb to the brainwash.

              Top rugby players today get around like some sort of cult. No veering from the plan allowed. Comply or be dammed.

              I always wonder if another Lomu or similar came along, you know an absolute star, and proceeded to refuse to play ball with the cult’s rules but nailed the rugby completely and utterly, would he still make it into the AB’s? Or would their religious order determine such a player blasphemous and toss him onto the pyre?

  10. Te Reo Putake 10

    Oi, Yes. You’re banned for being a dullard. Why don’t you do one.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/keeping-it-in-the-family-commission/#comment-667103

  11. logie97 11

    Anyone hear Mr Deaker on The Panel this afternoon (referring to the security bill) – but to the opposition in general. I paraphrase – … this Labour voice of opposition is pathetic and if Shearer cannot start articulating some meaningful leadership in the proud tradition of the Anti Apartheid/Nuclear/Vietnam/Manapouri movements, perhaps he should step aside and let someone else who can …

  12. Rodel 12

    I have always associated Anton Oliver with the word ‘integrity’, something that tories don’t seem to know about.

  13. unicus 13

    What neo-libs hate most of all is protection of any “right ” allowing contra interests to influence “their” economy -to a modest degree the RMA does that . Although most decisions are simply rubber stamped in favour of the applicant – communitys and individuals affected by crap development get a say – for developers and the neo-lib swine who support them even that is to much .

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