Protecting the environment and getting the right balance for sustainable development will be a core test of the proposed RMA changes, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.
“Several Treaty settlements have interlocking provisions connecting to the RMA, Local Government Act and a range of other laws that help to enable post-settlement opportunities.
“While iwi leaders have been working alongside Government and the Maori Party to progress freshwater issues, it is evident that such matters have not been factored into the proposed amendments.
“In addition, Iwi Participation Agreements should be considered carefully to investigate how effective they will be to inform the planning process.
“The capacity of Regional Councils to engage and provide for Iwi input should not be funded via Treaty settlements and the Government will have to factor this into these provisions.
“I am surprised that the Maori Party did not require the Government to include a provision for mandatory recognition of iwi management plans which would have elevated the shared contribution that iwi make towards the care and sustainable use of natural resources.
“We encourage whanau, hapu and iwi to make submissions on this Bill once it gets to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee,” says Nanaia Mahuta.