RMA: We need to know

Environment Minister Nick Smith needs to spell out to New Zealanders what they can expect from his substantial reform of the RMA, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. 

In an open letter to the Minister, Megan Woods has urged him to stop the games and be upfront about what changes he is planning to make to this law – something he had so far failed to do despite repeated requests. “Environmental protections are a vital part of who we are as a nation. The Resource Management Act sits at the heart of those protections and is critical to giving communities a democratic say in their local environment”.

 “Back in January, Smith signaled big changes, and then the crushing Northland defeat came and everything changed. They no longer have the numbers to ram through their original changes, but the question that remains is what is on the agenda now? Has the Government abandoned its plans to fundamentally undermine the core environmental protections? 

“Any changes Nick Smith is planning to make to this cornerstone legislation must be signaled clearly and early so they can be sensibly and rationally discussed and properly agreed. 

“Trying to figure out the bare minimum you can squeak through by one vote is what got the Minister into this mess in the first place. It is time for him to stop the partisan politics and reach out to other political parties and interested groups,” says Megan Woods.