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NRT: Making the trains run on time

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, September 14th, 2011 - 12 comments
Categories: democracy under attack - Tags: ,

Making the trains run on time

Eighteen months ago, in what can only be described as a coup, the government disestablished the democratically-elected Environment Canterbury and replaced it with a clique of hand-picked dictators. In Question Time this afternoon, Nick Smith used a patsy question to justify that move:

In [2008] Environment Canterbury processed only 29 percent of consents within the statutory time frames. The latest report shows that there has been a dramatic improvement. Within the last year 92 percent of resource consents have been processed on time. This improvement from 29 percent, when Labour was in Government, to 92 percent now is a real credit to the work of the commissioners and their staff. It is a relief for the thousands of homeowners, businesses, and farmers who have previously been held up by poor processes. With the rebuild of Canterbury it is particularly important that we have efficient resource consent processing, so that we can rebuild Canterbury.

Or, to put it another way, turning Canterbury into a dictatorship made the trains (or rather the RMA) run on time. A certain short Italian used the same “justification” for taking over Italy; it wasn’t acceptable then, and its not acceptable now. Government is not about efficiency; it is about control. And one thing is clear: the people of Canterbury now no longer control their regional council.

Meanwhile, I was going to joke about how this set a bad precedent for the government’s response to its Unmentionable Sporting Event failures. But I see Murray McCully has beaten me to it.


I’d just note that Mussolini didn’t actually make the trains run on time. It’s a myth. Much like the claim Nick Smith’s dictatorship is the reason that resource consents have been more timely in Canterbury. I would suggest it’s the fact that the number of consents has dropped off a cliff since the earthquakes.

– Eddie

12 comments on “NRT: Making the trains run on time ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    How many of those consents should never have gone through?

    Sounds to me like this dictatorial government have just turned ECAN into a rubber stamp outfit for the farmers and are now patting themselves on the back about it.

    • Richard 1.1

      Processed doesn’t mean approved, silly. Try again.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Ok, my mistake. So, how many of those processed were approved compared to previous applications processed?

        • Blighty

          what happens now is councils just reject any flawed (in that it doesn’t meet technical requirements) application from the get go.

          Previously, they would take that application but it would have to wait in the council’s pile while the rest of the paperwork was completed and submitted. It was cheaper and more efficient for everyone, rather than dealing with multiple reapplications and rejections, but it made the stats look bad.

          • freedom

            “It was cheaper and more efficient for everyone”.

            yeeeah, that’s not really the Nats style though is it?
            Plus National get the bonus of dictatorial powers
            ensuring the players grab what they want whilst they can.

            It is refreshing though to see the problem put in a nutshell
            of course there are so many allergy sufferers these days
            it is a huge ask to foment them all with the stark reality of commn sense.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Blighty has the right idea , youll find ALL regional councils now have vastly improved processing times due to the change of tactics.
            I had a consent returned as incomplete as a ‘checklist’ wasnt signed. Not the actual application itself.

  2. tc 2

    Nick smith couldn’t lie straight in bed, the Hollowmen will be hoping he stays well away from any soptlights in the run in to Nov 26 as he’s quite volatile and unbalanced once poked.

  3. Daffyd 3

    Nick loves to quote the 2007-8 figures. What was the percentage when the Creech report came out, before the Commissioners were appointed? One figure I’ve seen is 67% compliant by September 2009, suggesting rapid progress towards clearing the backlog.

  4. We agree with Daffyd, the actual percentage, according to ECans own website at the time was 85%. See our infonews article on this matter “News Media Swallows ECan Fudge” Link: http://www.infonews.co.nz/news.cfm?id=75304

  5. Daffyd 5

    Not at all Draco, you may recall that there are lies, damned lies and Nick’s favorite, statistics

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