03 April 2013

Environment Commissioner rejects radical RMA changes

Proposed changes to sections 6 and 7 of the Resource Management Act will alter the function of the RMA and erode its environmental protections says the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright.

Dr Wright's concerns have been outlined in her response to the Environment Ministry's RMA discussion document.

"Since its inception, the function of the RMA has been to provide an environmental balance to the economic imperatives of the marketplace, but these changes tilt the Act toward promoting economic development.

"These changes are far more radical than any previous amendments to the RMA.

"The RMA's focus is, and should remain, on the protection of New Zealand's natural and physical environment.

"There is also a subtle but significant undermining of environmental protection through the removal of some environmental considerations and weakening of others.

"There are many improvements that can be made to the RMA. But the proposed changes to sections 6 and 7 are in an entirely different category and should not go ahead."

Dr Wright's full submission is available here.

ENDS