Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 11:49AM
Bill Barclay

Those who have been concerned at the Laissez faire attitude towards the Amendment Bill displayed to date by TCDC will be encouraged by the more thoughtful approach adopted by the WRC which has been somewhat alarmed at some of the implications of removeing oversight from local government, and placing control firmly in the hands of ministers. Here is the their  media release dated 8 March

"The submission on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 supported the Government’s intent to improve “efficient and equitable” management of natural and physical resources by streamlining and centralising planning processes.

But the submission warned this shouldn’t be at the expense of local democratic processes. It said a number of amendments would reduce the ability of the public to participate in decision-making on resource consents.

“Of concern is the proposed powers given to the Minister for the Environment and/or Minister of Conservation to override the plan making mandate of local government. This seems at odds with the intent of the streamlining provisions, which are related to process rather than content.”

The submission was also concerned at provisions requiring resource consent processing authorities to specify reasons why applications were being opened for public submission, and then to limit submissions to those matters. “This seems contrary to the purpose of [public] notification, which is to make sure all the potential effects are identified and addressed.” 

The submission goes on to express concern at the proposed 10-day "farst-tracking" provision, and the potential for proposed iwi participation arrangement duplicating existing arrangements. 

But more importantly: 

"A second submission on the New Marine Protected Areas Act consultation document said a Government proposal for a recreational fishing park in the Hauraki Gulf should be delayed until the multi-agency Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari collaborative process had produced a new marine spatial for the Gulf. “There is a risk that imposing a recreational fishing park at this stage will be inconsistent with the marine spatial plan.,” 

This is exactly what we have been saying in this blog. It is time that ministers stopped politicking on this issue (as both Key and Nick Smith were doing yesterday!) and introduced some reality into their deliberations. The current proposal is simply irreconcilable  with the marine spatial plan, and proposed marine protected areas. 




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