RMA reforms challenged

Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC, architect of the Resource Management Act has decried the changes in a report Protecting New Zealand’s Environment writing, “The Government’s proposals will replace [sections 6 and 7] with a single list of competing considerations, under which principles protecting the natural environment and its recreational enjoyment will be consistently weakened, and principles promoting development will be consistently strengthened. Two decades of case-law built up in relation to the interpretation of the Act will be rendered redundant.” and “These changes have been justified by reference to assumptions and perceptions that are not supported by empirical evidence or analysis.”

Meanwhile, the United Future and Maori parties have withdrawn their support from the proposed reforms, requesting changes from Environment Minister Amy Adams, particularly regarding the Section 2 changes including recreational amenity.