The Resource Management Act (RMA) is the main way that ordinary New Zealanders can have a say in how our resources and environment are managed.
It is among the most important tools that Forest & Bird uses, but it is about us all.
One of the core ideas behind the Act is that the best outcomes are achieved when the public and community groups, such as Forest & Bird, are able to be involved in planning and resource consent decision-making.
In practice, very few cases or matters are disputed, or receive submissions. Fewer than 1% of cases are appealed. Around 4% of cases are publicly notified, for submissions. 95% of cases proceed on time.
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Meanwhile, biodiversity and environment quality continues to decline. Watch: Dr Susan Walker’s presentation to the EDS conference, 2013 (starts 12 mins in).
What the government says
The government is proposing some changes which will make planning simpler and more consistent across the country. We support many of these.
However, to address “uncertainty, cost and delay”, the government has also announced that it will rewrite the most important parts of the Resource Management Act - in ways that will significantly and seriously reduce environmental protection, and people’s ability to participate.
Our main concerns with what is proposed
1. Environmental protection
2. People’s participation
3. Uncertainty and cost
Read more, in Forest & Bird’s 2-page summary of the main concerns
A bill will be introduced to Parliament soon.
- Read more here from Sally Gepp's presentation (from Forest & Bird's legal team) on the proposed changes to the RMA.
- Read “grave concerns” from a qualified town planner of over 10 years experience, including significant experience in Australia, England and Wales.
Take action - what can you do?
2. Lobby Ministers and MPs. Visit them in their electorate offices, stop them on the street, send them a letter or an email. In your own words, tell them that you don’t support the changes, for these reasons - ask them to do the right thing.
- John Key - Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, email@example.com
- Amy Adams - Minister for the Environment in charge of these reforms, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your local National Government Minister or MP - find contact details here:
- Peter Dunne - United Future leader, likely to give the Government the vote needed to pass these reforms, contact email@example.com
- Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell, firstname.lastname@example.org
- New Zealand First leader Winston Peters NZFirst@parliament.govt.nz and environment spokesperson Andrew Williams Andrew.Williams@parliament.govt.nz
3. Talk to people locally. Print out the cartoons below and put them up on noticeboards around your town, join or organise a public meeting, write a letter to your local paper.
4. Write a select committee submission, after the Bill is introduced.
5. Support our RMA Appeal
Cartoons help spread the word to Save the RMA
A new “Save the RMA” Facebook page has already attracted over 500 supporters. The cartoons do a great job of communicating the serious concerns we have about what’s being proposed.
Resource Management Act Reform
Recently announced recommendations from a government-appointed Technical Advisory Group would spell disaster for the Resource Management Act if they were implemented.