01 March 2013
Proposed changes unbalance RMA – Environment Commissioner
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright today released her submission on the changes to the Resource Management Reform bill.
Dr Wright has criticised plans to increase the influence of economic concerns in the RMA process.
"The RMA's fundamental purpose is to make sure that environmental effects are taken into consideration when decisions are being made about using our resources. It is not, and should not become, an economic development act.
"There is a sense in the changes that the environment is considered the enemy of economic progress despite the fact that a large part of our economy is built on our environmental credentials.
"I am also concerned that the changes would give more influence to effects that can be easily expressed in dollar terms than to effects that cannot be so easily monetised.
"The cost of creating a reserve is easier to tally, for example, than the value of the biodiversity in that reserve. Too often what can be counted is given most weight even if it is not very important or accurate."
Dr Wright's full submission, including recommendations, is available here.
Please note: This submission is on Part 1 of the RMA reforms. It is not on the discussion document released yesterday which is concerned with Part 2 of the RMA reforms. Dr Wright will be making a submission on the discussion document at a later date.