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.
Click to enlarge
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?
1. Sign up to our list to be kept informed.
2. Lobby Ministers and MPs. In particular, independent MP Brendan Horan and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters are considering giving the government the vote in support that they need, to introduce these changes.
3. 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 and ask them to do the right thing. Find some simple key messages here.
- Brendan Horan, independent MP: Brendan.Horan@parliament.govt.nz, cnr Totara and Rata Streets, PO Box 5344, Mount Maunganui. Brendan Horan is on Twitter @BrendanHoran.
- New Zealand First leader Winston Peters NZFirst@parliament.govt.nz and environment spokesperson Andrew Williams Andrew.Williams@parliament.govt.nz. To contact Winston Peters in person in Whangarei and Tauranga - 83 Bank Street, Whangarei, ph 09 438 4037, 801 Cameron Road, Tauranga, ph 07 571 0980. Winston Peters is on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/winstonpeters and Twitter @winstonpeters.
- Please also write to Hon Peter Dunne, and all Maori Party MPs, thanking them for their strong stand which has delayed progress of the government’s Bill, and urging them to continue withholding their support for the part 2 changes.
- Peter Dunne - United Future leader, email@example.com. Peter Dunne is on Twitter @PeterDunneMP.
- Te Ururoa Flavell (co-leader), firstname.lastname@example.org , Tariana Turia (co-leader), 114 Liverpool Street, Whanganui, Tari.Turia@xtra.co.nz , Pita Sharples email@example.com
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.
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.