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Resource Management Act Third Reading

Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, April 6th, 2017 - 19 comments
Categories: Environment, national, nick smith, Politics, same old national - Tags: ,

The third and final reading of the reform of the Resource Management Act is close.

I thought Id take a moment to quote Minister Smith’s view of it. See what you make of his words against the impact of the changes:

“This Resource Legislation Amendment Bill is an important part of the Government’s long-term programme to increase housing supply and affordability, support a growing economy and jobs, and improve environmental management. We completed the first phase of reforms in our first term but were unable to secure Parliamentary numbers in our second term. This Bill, containing 40 changes, is the most substantive change to the RMA since it became law 25 years ago,” Dr Smith says.

“The biggest changes to the law are in the content and way plans are developed. The current 80,000 pages of RMA plans and rules, or on average 1000 pages per council, are excessively complex and expensive. The process for writing a plan takes seven years on average. The new national planning standards will hugely reduce the bureaucracy and the new streamlined planning process will speed up the time it takes to write replacement plans.

“These reforms will reduce the number of consents required by thousands. Councils will have a new power to waive the need for consents for minor issues. A new 10-day first-tracked consent will be available. Boundary issues like building a deck will be able to be resolved by simply getting a neighbour’s consent. The gains from the changes will save homeowners millions of dollars in direct costs and delays.

“There are important environmental gains in this Bill. It is critical that management of natural hazards is added to the central principles of the Act. We need the national regulation-making powers to get stock out of our waterways. The provisions requiring offshore platforms to have decommissioning plans is important to ensuring taxpayers are not left with environmental liability.

“The Mana Whakahono ā Rohe/Iwi Participation Arrangements provisions will provide a better framework for councils to meet their existing consultation obligations. The provisions do not change councils’ decision-making rights on plans or consents. They simply provide a mechanism for councils to meet their obligations under sections six, seven and eight. Councils that have these arrangements are finding it is better to have iwi involved early in the process as it avoids delays and costs further down the track.

Thought I might leave it to you, gentle reader, to consider:

– whether his statements are true

– whether the purposes of the Act are better expressed than previously

– whether the new Act will unify us as a country towards greater common purpose or common good.

Will be an interesting vote on the floor, that’s for sure.

19 comments on “Resource Management Act Third Reading ”

  1. saveNZ 1

    Wouldn’t believe a word of what Nick Smith says.

    Lets face it, the main reason the Natz live is to make it easier to exploit, pollute and take public resources more easily to private hands, through the RMA and remove democracy in the communities to have a say over their resources and community.

    Look at what the Natz Netsafe legislation is now doing, ‘apparently is was supposed to stop bullying teens’ but surprise surprise is not being used to censor political blogs and make it harder for them to operate.


    Would support any party that repeals everything the Natz have done once we get the fuckers out.

  2. Bearded Git 2

    I hope the Maori Party ‘s demise will come about on 23 September after its support for the massively developer-friendly RMA amendments that will result in the destruction of important landscape vistas.

    Under the latest changes the RMA has been gutted. The checks and balances of the right to appeal to the Environment Court has almost totally been removed for the public, though not for developers of course. So much for well informed and transparent decision making.

    • saveNZ 2.1

      +1 Bearded Git – I just don’t think people realise how destructive this bill is for this country, our environment and our way of life.

      • The Chairman 2.1.1

        Unfortunately, most won’t realise how destructive this bill is until it impacts them directly. And when it does, there will be some horror stories to be told.

  3. roy cartland 3

    Watched some of the debate. The opposition doesn’t seem convinced, and the tone of Labour was that the Maori Party had been ‘had’. Traded their dignity, relevance and mana for the proverbial magic beans. That 61-60 is hardly a mandate for such important legislature, they really should be trying to get unanimous (really???) consensus like they did when the RMA was established.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    The current 80,000 pages of RMA plans and rules

    Massive exaggeration that amounts to an outright lie.

    The RMA legislation is only few pages long. The rest will be 25 years of court cases.

    The question that now must be asked is: Do these changes that National and its klingons are implementing support all the finding in law or do they go against them?

    I’m pretty sure that we’ll find that they go against them.

    • SpaceMonkey 4.1

      On behalf of the Klingons I take offense at their being roped in with a political party that has no honour.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        That is Declaration Of War, Mr Monkey.

        • SpaceMonkey

          Indeed. It will be short and there’s plenty of room for on Rura Penthe for the entire National cabinet… perhaps not the Planet Key dreamed of but it certainly seems to be where National want to take us.

  5. Jenny Kirk 5

    “We need the national regulation-making powers to get stock out of our waterways,”
    so says Nick Smith. But what he doesn’t tell us, is that this won’t happen for about another 30 years or so.
    Stock out of waterways is needed now – not in 2047.

  6. The Chairman 6

    It seems the Maori Party amendment (prohibiting GM crops) overlooks GM grasses or pasture.


    • Ad 6.1

      It’s definitely a much narrower carve-out.

      But let’s not forget:
      This is a party of 2 votes, supported by a few rag-tag apple growers, against the whole of Federated Farmers, Agresearch, most other major agricultural technology companies, and every other single MP in Parliament outside of National.

      These two MPs have got this clause against all of that.

      This tiny little Maori Party managed to get a pretty major carve-out between the second and third readings.

      Parker is attacking them because he wants the entire Bill to fail.
      Well who’da thunkit.

      But actually this clause is a really good thing that protects democratic rights within local councils.

      Of course, Parker and Little could have been creative and got Act and United to do what everyone in the Opposition wanted, which was to strike out the Ministerial call-in powers altogether. That is what Act and United wanted to do. Instead he goes for Politics As Usual.

      Parker should just light his post-debate joint and inhale for a bit.

      • The Chairman 6.1.1

        This tiny little Maori Party are the ones that helped get the bill over the line.

        And Parker isn’t the only one who wanted the whole bill to fail. Failing that, striking out the Ministerial call-in powers should have been better attempted.

  7. GMO pasture grasses across New Zealand.
    Nice work, Nick.
    Ya reckon The Maori Party missed that little detail?
    I’ve a bridge, etc…
    Maori Party error own goal on GM
    Posted by David Parker on April 05, 2017

    The Maori Party amendment to the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill does not achieve what they say it does on genetic modification, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker.

    “Their amendment relates to the new powers given to the Minister to over-ride local democracy by knocking out or amending rules in District or Regional RMA plans.

    “The Maori Party amendment was supported by all parties in Parliament last night except the Act Party, because it does narrow the Minister’s over-ride power, but only a little.

    “It does this by saying the regulation cannot be used to knock out plan rules prohibiting GM ‘crops’.

    “The problem is that “crops” do not include GM grasses or pasture.

    “This was exposed last night in Parliament when Minister Nick Smith confirmed this in the debate when he correctly quoted the dictionary meaning: ‘crops’ are the produce of cultivated plants such as cereals, vegetables or fruit.’

    “The Minister is right. Thus ‘crops’ do not include GM grass.

    “Despite Maori Party assertions to the contrary, they are voting for a law which opens the door to GM grasses and pastures. This is widely opposed in many communities, especially by Maori.

    “Maori Party support was obtained on the back of this ineffective amendment.

    “The RLA Bill is deeply flawed in many different ways. They should be held to account for backing this flawed law, which will only pass with their support,” says David Parker.”

    • Ad 7.1

      Sure, but now it’s passed I’m also looking forward to hearing from Labour and the Greens whether they would revisit the RMA at all.

  8. JC 8

    “This appears to me to be a recipe for confusion and a potential policy train wreck. Serious resources need to be brought to bear on a topic like this, if you’re going to legislate, and to Balkanise the policy resources of a small country in three separate efforts seems to me to be both unwise and profligate.”


    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment acknowledges the concern about housing that lies behind many of the proposed changes to the RMA. But she warns that some go too far.

    “I can see that making planning processes faster and simpler in some situations is a good thing”, said Dr Jan Wright. “But the Bill goes too far in stopping people having their say on important environmental matters.”


    Personally I believe both of them aren’t too far off the mark!

    While I’d expect the 80000000 pages… to be something Nick said… I believe that came from Bernard…


  9. Wyndham 9

    NZ First stated in parliament last evening that, post election, ANY party that they aligned with would have to repeal this legislation.
    No ifs. No buts.

    • Richard McGrath 9.1

      NZFirst will be the big winner from the passage of this Bill. National voters will feel betrayed by their MPs and will desert the party in droves and go over to Winston or ACT. I predict Bill English will be a two time loser, and Collins will replace him after he loses the election later this year. Interesting times ahead!

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