The Resource Management Act has largely failed to protect biodiversity and water quality, and a review is desperately needed to fix the legislation.
Forest & Bird Conservation Group Manager Jen Miller says, “Despite the RMA being a highly innovative piece of legislation at the time it was written, it has failed to achieve its purpose of protecting our native species, special places, or water quality."
“New Zealand’s environment and native species have reached an absolute crisis point through continual concessions to development, land use intensification, and inadequate monitoring and enforcement of environmental rules."
Miller says, “The RMA has slowed this decline in some instances, but not altered the overall pathway towards extinction for most of our native species and habitats.
“The RMA also specifically excludes climate change considerations. This has meant irresponsible activities such as coal mining and coal-powered milk drying furnaces have been permitted despite the disastrous effect burning the coal has on our environment.
“It is was a gross failure of New Zealand’s decision makers to turn their backs on the most pressing environmental issue humanity and the environment has ever faced, by writing climate change out of the RMA. We look forward to helping correct this deliberate and immoral decision."
Forest & Bird are pleased with Ministerial assurances that there will be close consultation with environmental groups and iwi throughout the review.