Federated Farmers has long believed Resource Management Act reform is overdue but is concerned by the speed and scale of the rebuilding proposed today.
“We should be able to get to the end of this process and feel the work has been completed over timeframes that will ensure we deliver the outcomes we want to achieve as a country,” Federated Farmers resource management act spokesperson Karen Williams says.
Environment Minister David Parker has announced his intention to replace the RMA with three new pieces of legislation before the end of this Parliamentary term, with a special select committee looking at a draft of the main Bill by the middle of this year.
“This gives very little time for the community to absorb, consider and submit on the contents of the Bill,” Karen says.
The opportunity to make such significant step-changes comes once in a generation, and reform should be done in a way that is thorough, open and considered.
“It is too important an issue to rush.
“We all want planning processes simplified and costs and times reduced but we also want good quality legislation. Faster planning doesn’t necessarily equate to better planning.”
Federated Farmers believes there is a danger that if the legislation is formed too quickly it will exclude community input and could lean towards pre-determined outcomes.
“We are keen to ensure this process includes adequate consideration of sustainable food production planning. Feds would welcome wider community comment on this.
“We also don’t want to see quick fixes to address today’s urban ‘crisis’ around housing, resulting in long-term changes to New Zealand’s environmental management that has other resource users picking up that environmental tab.”
Karen Williams, Federated Farmers vice president and resource management act spokesperson.