A report on the burden to economies of environmental policies, prepared by the OECD in 2014, ranked New Zealand 28th out of 34 member countries. It highlighted that real problems exist with our system of environmental regulation.
While many countries had more stringent environmental controls than New Zealand, the associated costs to their economies were found to be relatively minor.
In comparison, New Zealand had the worst administrative burden, alongside Israel, Canada and Iceland. This was due to the high levels of bureaucratic compliance necessary to fulfil the requirements of New Zealand’s pre-eminent environmental legislation, the Resource Management Act. With 164 regional and district plans requiring different rules for thousands of different types of activities, the government estimates that in excess of 50,000 resource consents are required around the country each year. This not only delays development proposals by months or even years, but it creates a huge economic burden on the country.
In fact, the RMA has become so problematic, that when faced with the need to respond quickly to major development proposals, the Government has chosen to legislate to bypass it.
The Environmental Protection Authority is now used to process large infrastructure and public works projects of national significance, efficiently assessing the proposals and recommending to the Minister whether they should be referred to a board of inquiry, to the Environment Court, or back to the local authority.
After the Christchurch earthquakes, new emergency legislation was introduced by the government to bypass the RMA, to enable the rebuild to occur in a more timely fashion.
More recently, in response to Auckland’s housing crisis, legislation has been passed to create Special Housing Areas where the consenting and approval processes are fast-tracked, to speed up development.
In reality, if the RMA has become such a huge barrier to progress that the government needs to remove its own projects from its purview, then the Act is clearly in need of radical reform.
In response to the report produced by the OECD’s Working Party on Integrating Environmental and Economic Policies, Minister Nick Smith explained, “This report highlights that high environmental standards do not have to mean high administrative costs. Many countries had more stringent environmental policies than New Zealand, but had far less costly administrative systems. We need to heed the advice from the OECD to find ways to reduce our environmental policy red tape and improve the business friendliness of our bureaucratic procedures.
“Fixing the Resource Management Act so as to address these very real administrative problems while maintaining high environmental standards is a huge challenge. This second phase of reform will involve the most significant changes to the Resource Management Act since its inception 25 years ago. We need to take the time to get it right.”
The RMA has long been regarded as the ideal mechanism by which environmentalists, iwi, councils, competitors, neighbours and busy bodies in general can delay or destroy development proposals.
While it was heralded as a landmark piece of legislation back in 1991 when it was first introduced – for being ‘enabling’ rather than ‘prescriptive’ – in reality it gave environmental considerations pre-eminence over the economic benefits of any development proposal.
In other words, instead of enabling the economic benefits of a project to be weighed up against the environmental impact, the Act was designed to ensure the environment trumped all other considerations.
This is the reason that environmentalist planners in councils all over the country have been so successful in imposing “smart growth” restrictions on housing development. Ostensibly introduced to prevent so-called ‘urban sprawl’, these restrictions ignore the fact that the total area of land in New Zealand that makes up the ‘built environment’ of housing, roads, and other forms of community and industrial development, is less than one percent.
In many parts of the country, councils choked off the availability of greenfields land for new housing, as they tried instead to impose higher density living. The problem is that most Kiwis don’t want to be crowded in on each other, preferring instead a home with a backyard for a garden, an orchard, and space for the kids to play.
While initially such planning constraints had little impact on communities with low population growth and spare capacity for housing, this was certainly not the case in high growth areas like Auckland. In fact it is ludicrous that the RMA has enabled the country’s major city to be held hostage by green ideology – or indeed that land owners anywhere can be held hostage by any ideology, be it green or brown.
Essentially, Auckland’s housing crisis has become a siren call for RMA reform. The challenges faced by the government as they have tried to counter the idealism of environmentalist planners in local government, have been plain for all to see. That’s not to say that environmental considerations aren’t important when development is being considered – of course they are. But experience shows a better balance in the law is now needed.
At the last election, the National Party campaigned on comprehensive RMA reform. In particular, they wanted to rebalance the Act to give economic considerations the same weight as environmental concerns. This meant changes to the “Purpose and Principles” of the legislation through sections 6 and 7 of the Act. While a raft of other amendments were also proposed, rebalancing the Act was understood to be National’s priority.
That’s why the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill that is now in front of Parliament’s Local Government and Environment Select Committee is so disappointing. While there are a number of important changes – namely introducing national planning templates for councils, speeding up planning processes, allowing consents for minor matters to be waived, and providing stronger national direction on consent requirements – the politics of the situation has meant that National has had to abandon the amendments to sections 6 and 7, which were the central component of their reform programme, in order to gain the support of the Maori Party to send the Bill to a select committee.
The resulting Bill has not only been watered down to the point where it is largely cosmetic, but the cost of dealing with the Maori Party, has been the inclusion of race-based provisions of such magnitude that no rational New Zealand government should ever consider putting them in place.
This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator Judge Anthony Willy, a retired Environment Court Judge and former Canterbury University Law Lecturer, explains what these new provisions entail – in particular, the introduction of clauses 58K to 58P dealing with participation of persons of Maori descent in the planning process:
“Put simply the Government is contemplating a revised process for introducing and amending District and Regional planning documents requiring that in all such cases the Territorial Local Authority must first consult with ‘Iwi groups’ having ‘authority’ in their area before making any changes to a plan or introducing a new plan.
“Thus the democratically elected representatives of the locality covered by the plan are required to take into account the views of an ethnically selected group who are of necessity citizens of the district and who had the same rights as any other citizen to submit on the contents of a plan.
“In this way the ethnic group has two opportunities to influence the contents of the plan whereas the rest of the voters have only one.
“A clearer breach of the Rule of Law, which mandates equality before the law is hard to imagine, but some government Ministers appear to be oblivious to such constraints.”
Judge Willy concludes that, “In their present form these provisions are unworkable, expensive and time consuming. They stand exposed for what they are; a political sop to the votes of the Maori Party needed to pass this legislation. And for this the Government further erodes the Rule of Law.”
It is now clear that the ‘Iwi Participation Agreements’ in National’s new RMA reform bill will strengthen the power that tribal groups have over local government and the country’s natural resources – including fresh water.
They will set the scene for the tribal co-governance of local authorities, since once bedded in they will require democratically elected councils to seek the approval of unelected tribal representatives in all major decision-making.
The Agreements are also instrumental in the tribal elite’s plan to control New Zealand’s fresh water supplies by providing an accelerated pathway for tribal groups to gain resource consenting powers under section 33 and 36B of the RMA. Until now, there has been no formal mechanism to progress any such ambitions, but once enacted, these Agreements will enable tribes to fast-track their plans to become resource consenting authorities for their whole region for fresh water and other natural resources.
It is clear that what National is attempting to do in this Bill – in particular, enabling race-based vested interests to take over resource consenting from democratically elected councillors – is simply untenable.
As a result, since the much-needed changes to rebalance the RMA have been excluded from the Bill, while the pandering to Maori self-interest has been included, many people who would normally support RMA reform are likely to oppose the Bill on the basis that it will not only significantly deepen the country’s racial divide, but it will also fail to address the RMA’s regulatory roadblocks to growth.
In his State of the Nation address last month, Winston Peters indicated that there may be a way forward. Mr Peters expressed serious concern about National’s RMA reform Bill and offered New Zealand First’s support for substantial amendments – presumably to sections 6 and 7 of the Act – on the condition that all race-based proposals are removed from the Bill: “we announce here tonight, that New Zealand First will, in the committee stage of the RMA Bill, move amendments to cut red tape and bring common sense to the RMA. We will do so on one condition, that National will drop ALL provisions in the bill that provide separate rights based on race.”
In response, the Prime Minister indicated that he is very serious about wanting real reform of the RMA, and explained, “what we need is 61-plus votes to get [the bill] out of select committee. We are happy to work with any political party to make that happen”.
When asked if he would be prepared to deal with Winston Peters, John Key said, “If he wants to support the National Government, come with his own set of proposals for the RMA and vote for it we’re more than happy to sit down with him and do that”.
Whether Mr Peters comes up with some decent reform proposals, and whether National will remove all race-based provisions, remains to be seen. But right now, with the Bill in front of a Select Committee, the public have an opportunity to express their views.
The Parliamentary submission process is a numbers game. If few people bother to send in submissions to convey their concerns about a bill, the government assumes everyone is happy with it. But if thousands of people send in submissions indicating strong opposition, then the government realises that the bill may need amending to avoid alienating a large proportion of the electorate.
So, if you are concerned about the government’s proposed RMA reforms, then we urge you to send in a submission, stating whether you support or oppose the bill and whether you want to be heard by the Select Committee. We suggest that you don’t rely on industry group submissions nor on form submissions, as they are often counted as ‘one’ submission, even though they may represent large numbers of people. With electronic submissions now accepted by Parliament, the submission process is no longer time-consuming, nor onerous.
Submissions on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill close on March 14. Full details on the Bill, including the links for electronic submissions can be found on Parliament’s website. We urge anyone with an interest on the future growth and development of New Zealand to send in a submission.
THIS WEEK’S POLL ASKS:
Do you support the government’s RMA reform Bill as it stands? Please let us know why…
*Poll comments are posted below.
*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.
THIS WEEK’S POLL COMMENTS
|To much in favour to Maori again and just shows the weakness of this government in dealing with the demands by the Maori party bring on RH Winston Peters and his party.||Ken|
|It further erodes our rights as NewZealanders. We have little or no identity as it is, if the flag is changed it is another step on the way to wiping out our heritage, what little we have anyway.||Glenn|
|I disagree with having any race based legislation on the statute books.||Michael|
|National are working towards a race-based RMA. Nobody in their right mind will vote or accept National’s farcical concept..||Barry|
|Do not agree with the so called “race based” provisions.||Derek|
|I am opposed to any legislation that is based on race. We do not need apartheid in NZ. Further it appears that in its present form the proposed changes to the RMA are simply unworkable and will be very expensive to developers who have every reason to complain about costs under the present system. Judge Willy’s comments about dealing with multiple iwi must be addressed in any reform to the RMA, and as Winston Peters said he would support change to the RMA PROVIDED all reference to race are eliminated. I support change in the same manner that does Winston Peters.||John|
|All race based policies need to be dropped.||Craig|
|From what I can gather it will have special provisions for Maori with their radicals, in most instances holding projects up and frustrating developers and the rest of the population to ransom. We do not want race based legislation in New Zealand, we are now a very diverse population.||Elsa|
|I do not support the RMA reform at all.How on earth could our Govt go that far to allow a politically self centered and power hungry Maori leader minority such far reaching powers. These changes would require consent for any petty decision to be made from that lot at every turn. Not to mention these back door provisions to allow them to have enormous control over fresh water resources. This Govt has sold out the Non Maori population ( ie the majority of this country) This I call TREASON!!! and this Govt has (in my view ) forfeited the right to be where they are now.||Michael|
|It is wrong to give any group, especially a group not elected democratically, more “rights” than another. More and more Maori are demanding, and being given, preferential treatment at the expense of the rest of us. This is what has happened in South Africa. Do we want to go down this path? National should listen to and go along with Winston Peters and remove all race-based references in the revised RMA. Yes, the passing of legislation is a numbers game, perhaps at the expense of legislation that is fair and just for the majority of citizens.||Laurence|
|It is Apartheid, pure and simple.||Kerry|
|Could we please have a Donald Trump type person here to kick over the table of Geoffrey Palmer’s political correctness to do with racial privilege within RMA and Treaty principles?||Monica|
|This is another case of political votes in the house being so much more important than common sense. We must remember of course that it is the ” Departments” that advise government, along with their obvious bias . Fish and Game is a perfect example.||Barry|
|The idea of giving special rights to a racial group is deeply repugnant ina democracy.||Roger|
|We felt that the original bill should not have been changed.||Colin|
|Come on Winston, stop mucking around and get with National and put these greedy bloody Maoris down.||Athol|
|It removes the democratic process from all New Zealanders and cocentrates it in race base individuals.||John|
|Maori being given too much control!||Jim|
|As the RMA reform stands with race based privileges im agansed the reform if Winston can get the race based privileges taken out of the RMA reform ill be all for it .Stand up and make it happen Winston.||John|
|Due to race based provisions.||Mark|
|It is another example of race based advantage to Maori. What does the government want…a revolution?||Doug|
|The first apartheid legislation in South Africa was that separate park benches be allocated for blacks and whites. NZ has already gone far further than this.||Ray|
|The government has a great opportunity here to use the MMP system with NZ First to both improve the RMA and eliminate racial preference from the act.||John|
|There should be no inclusions in any RMA bill that would give special rights to any person or group.||Neil|
|No race based policy only for all NZers get Winston on board.||Barry|
|Winston Peters has the right idea on this shambles. We are supposed to be a democracy in New Zealand. Let us all work together to get every reference to race taken out of ALL legislation.||Ernest|
|Thre are no full blood Maori.Race based previllages must stop! Why should they get more voice. Separatist policies must stop. Hopefully John Key learned his lesson at around Waitangi Day pandering to the few is nit going to work.Someone needs to be a strong leader and get rid of Maori privilege.||JC|
|I am opposed to any legislation that ignores the rule of law and which allows racism to occur.||Errol|
|Anything racist has no place in this country. “ALL ONE PEOPLE”.||Clark|
|The inclusion of Maori based consultation is abhorrent to the reasons for the changes to the RMA and Iwi should not be consulted with regards to RMA decisions.||Andrew|
|Race based content needs to be removed.||David|
|Racist as usual.||Greg|
|It only suits iwi but will be a disaster for the rest of our country’s people!||Theodorus|
|Raced based policies are the thin end of the wedge for apartheid type policies, only this time favouring the Maoris.||Nigel|
|Any Bill that requires racial approval is an abortion of democracy. Someone, somewhere along the line came up with the idea “Maori are the protectors of the natural environment.” (cough). I don’t see many moas running around today, wood pigeons are regarded as a Maori delicacy (strictly for cultural purposes, of course) and would no doubt also be extinct had it not been for the influence of another culture, and kiwis were on the brink of extinction. Not my idea of nature’s guardians. Any reference to Maori consultation should be removed from the RMA reform Bill and democracy restored.||Mitch|
|All references giving any discrete race oversight; and/or management; and/or coordination; and/or the right to be consulted, on any aspect addressed within the Act, must be removed before enactment.||Michael|
|Totally inadequate in terms of what it does for the planning rules, and utterly obnoxious in terms of what it does in building racial preferences.||Don|
|This country will never prosper until all race-based legislation and references to race are removed. We were supposed to be ONE PEOPLE. Apartheid seems to actually be here and we need to get rid of even the slightest hint of it. ‘Maori’ actually have more ‘other’ blood’ so what’s the problem? We must all be equal under the law and not divided by race.||Helen|
|Because it gives ridiculous veto powers to Iwi & because as it stands it will do little to speed up the consenting process.||Jenny|
|The racial qualifications in the bill must be removed. I strongly support Winston Peter’s comments on this situation.||Ronmac|
|Unless the Race question is not removed from the Bill we are going nowhere. Can’t these politicians have the guts to do something that will benefit the country as a whole rather than self interest.||John|
|Anything that promotes race based unfairness is not on!||John|
|It is far too racist.||John|
|Giving a minority group the ultimate control of any resource consent application is racist and should be removed from the legislation.||Brian|
|No special rights for race based pressure groups. All New Zealanders to be treated equally as per the Treaty of Waiting.||Bob|
|All raced based provisions must be removed.||Graeme|
|All race based components should be Removed. One man/woman One Vote. No unelected representation should be allowed.||Rod|
|Its encouraging Separatism and is blatantly racist. National will certainly not get my vote if they proceed with this.||Selwyn|
|No race based provisions should be part of the RMA or any other legislation.||Neville|
|Seperatism is wrong.||Mick|
|WHEN WILL THIS GOVT. UNDERSTAND THAT ORDINARY KIWIS ARE FEED UP WITH THE RACIAL DIVIDE. . DO SOMETHING POSITIVE WITH THIS ISSUE WINSTON!||GARY|
|Once again it is raced based in favour of Maori which will serve to deepen racial divides which are not in anybody’s interest.||Judith|
|We need to eliminate race-based legislation, not increase it.||David|
|The amendment does not, in my opinion, address or sufficiently simplify the processes required to make the RMA efficient. Added to this, we have new inclusions giving undemocratic rights or preferences based on race which is untenable and will only add division and unwarranted costs and further inefficiencies of the Act.||Chris|
|With Maori malleable history and recorded endless “FINAL” settlements (6 to date since 1870) which they have not enduringly honoured it is irresponsible for any Govt to give them powers in country legislation above us all.||Anon|
|It is racist and it condones separatism.||David|
|Stop pandering to Maori interests.||Kevin|
|My understanding is that before the White man arrived the Maori only could control the land that they had conquered from other tribes.Thus the land that they actually controlled was very small. Now suddenly they con trolled huge amounts of land. The treaty gave them equal rights to the settlers not special rights.||Neil|
|I am adamant that ALL citizens of New Zealand have equal rights. To give away our rights based on ethnicity is definitely wrong!!!||Jon|
|Water is the responsibility of everyone not just MoariI Tribal Groups.||Don|
|We need to bring down the costs and the time it takes to get thing done.||Richard|
|It’s rascist. key admits he needs those two Maori votes to pass legislation – time to grow up, realise he is running this country for EVERYONE and not to just appease greedy Maori, and start some dialogue with Winston Peters.||Carolyn|
|We should not have race based unelected persons controlling resources in New Zealand.||Mike|
|Because it is not worded equally for all New Zealanders. I cannot understand why this Government continues to pander to one race whose ancestors were after all just immigrants to this country as everyone else is.||Mary|
|Complete failure in it’s objective and a dangerous further erosion of democracy for all Kiwis.||Ken|
|New Zealand Laws should not be race based.||George|
|Who is a Maori?||Brian|
|The answer is pretty obvious, no law would be democratic when it is taken over by a greedy minority whose sole aim is to extort as much money as possible from the system . I think now that John Key is waking up to just how subersive this minority group is doing damage to the country and it was a great step taen by him to tell them that he would not attend the Waitangi celebrations if he was not allowed to speak. The next obvious step would be for him to form an alliance with NZ First and kick the RMA into touch by removing the provision of race based representation as suggested by Winston Peters.||Ralph|
|Here we have a group of Maori’s gagging John Key so he chooses not to attend Waitangi on Waitangi Day; yet his same man’s government is cowtowing to Maori demands. If Mr Key truly wants to represent the people of this county he has to close his ears to a very vocal Maori few. The reformed RMA Act is just another racist thorn in the side of New Zealanders.||Peter|
|Not if it watered down so that it is just a waste of energy and achieves little reform.||Colin|
|Letting the maoris take over is totally undemocratic.||Owen|
|It’s racist and divisive. This Idiot Key is selling all non maori down the drain simply to keep the Maori Party support in governance issues. It is just so wrong.||William|
|Remove all race bias and only elected representatives vote.||Errol|
|If they cannot come up with a purely democratic system they shouldn’t be there.||Neil|
|Any policies enforcing raced based rules (by Maori Iwi Tribes) on the citizens of New Zealand is undemocratic and a total injustice to the citizens of New Zealand. All race based laws should be totally banned, we should all be one to feel that we are not second class citizens.||Audrey|
|How can we even consider supporting race based carry on. We elect our councils to be in charge of our resourses it is a bit rude for some unelected group to start thinking they have a right to be heard. If they want a voice stand for council like the rest of us and see where they get to and we do not need Maori seats in parliament. Time our country was one, the treaty has been used out of all context. It has been used to rape millons of dollars of the rest of us for What.||Russell|
|It is racist and divisive.||Arthur|
|Queen Victoria was a figurehead same as our present Queen Elizabeth2nd, she did not have the right nor the power to grant Maoris exclusive privilege denied to others. In consideration the Treaty was ratified by having the “borders of New South Wales extended to cover all of the islands of NZ” in the same manner as Tasmania, confirming Maoris were immediately ruled SAME as everyone else, there is absolutely no possibility of Treaty racial privilege. Our true founding document is Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter of 16-11-1840, ratified on 03-05-1841, that gave us our first constitution (non-racial), authorised our Westminster style of Government, our own courts to oversee English law only and eventually our own flag. Don’t blame Maoris, only Government has the power to create an apartheid state.||George|
|As someone who protested against apartheid in South Africa I cannot support any legislation that is race based. To know that my rights could legally be decided by the descendants of one particular ethnic group is APARTHEID and if there is more I can do to preserve what it means to be a New Zealander, I will! I am a New Zealander and I demand the same rights as every other NZer. Water is a global commodity and I foresee the same “Maori Grab” for so called rights becoming a money making scheme for those few of Maori descent who are able to “work” the system. WHY DID SO MANY OF US PROTEST AGAINST APARTHEID IN 19981, ONLY TO LET IT HAPPEN HERE.||Penina|
|The RMA bill is no place to pander to any specific race or religion. All bills must be written to give fairness to all New Zealanders.||Dennis|
|The Maori Party are hell bent on causing separatism and racial disharmony. Maori already have been amply compensated again and again and if it was not for European intervention to stop the maori wars between tribes originally, they would all have eaten each other. Now it is time to say ENOUGH -their demands are becoming more and more ridiculous and this Government should stop bending over. We need perhaps a “Cosmopolitan Political Party” to now fight for the rest of us.||Judy|
|Anything that causes further division of NZ society, and especially race-based division, should be scrapped. Therefore I hope Winston Peters is more than just grand-standing with his remarks.||Ted|
|I vehemently oppose this bill on several counts; 1) Environmental and Community concerns SHOULD take precedence over economic elements within a development proposal. 2) More land availability will do very little to stem the absurd rise in land and house values (which is actually more the loss of the purchasing power of every dollar it takes to purchase a property than it is a capital “gain” – unless this Bill proposes to outlaw inflation). A tax on capital “value gains” on property is actually an evil tax on inflation which none of us have any control over what-so-ever. The assertion that the proposed law changes will create cheaper housing is the purchasing of influence from the ignorant and disregards the existence of the inflation inherent in our monetary system. 3) No race, maori or otherwise, should be given more influence than anyone else in my position on these matters. I was born here. I cannot go off-shore and claim anywhere else as my home. NZ is it! Where else can I go? I did not (nor did anyone I know) attack any maori villages or hurt anybody else. My family and I continue to agree to help finance the Treaty Settlements as a sign of good faith and as a means of establishing the fact that we belong here. I did not steal anything. I PAY IN FULL for anything I own or use. I do not see why my opinion is of any lesser or more value than anyone else’s. This Bill is flawed in that it exploits certain tax-payers purely because of the colour of their skin. it’s promise of more affordable housing is not a logical argument – where is the proof? This Bill is racist and tries to open the door for more racist policies to follow – at the expense of those who do not claim the maori label. Further, I would suggest if you wish to stem the rise in housing values find a way to get rid of the conflict of interest that allows politicians to invest in residential real estate whilst this very same group has complete control over the supply of state housing. Also, if any of these people (or acquaintances) are involved in any land development proposal what-so-ever, their input into the making on this kind of law should be illegal since this is another conflict of interest.||Wayne|
|Already gone too far!!!!||Alan|
|Concerns and policies should be sorted and implemented honestly and effectively for all new Zealanders, by a small number of non prejudiced people.||Shirley|
|Still a sham, the RMA mandate is to responsibly manage the countries development. In order for our standard of life to be maintained; there must be development and progress.||George|
|Object to the implications fo the clauses 58K to 58P||Ian|
|Race based privilege will cause further n division in society and make the RMA Unworkable and expensive.||John|
|It is a big step backwards as it gives one ethnic group unfair advantage in exchange for its votes. Rather scrap the whole thing.||Leon|
|All Maori special rights need to be REMOVED.||John|
|An outcome of the race based provisions in this Bill will be bitter divide and disharmony. These provisions must go, as indeed they must in all legislation. I suggest starting with the Treaty of Waitangi and scrapping that. It is, after all, not relevant to modern day New Zealand.||Peter|
|It gives to much power to non elected iwi representatives.||Rog|
|Race based legislation has no place in NZ. If the RMA proceeds with any race based clauses included I shall never vote for National again.||Mike|
|The provisions based on race are untenable and will allow maori to control all natural resources.||Antony|
|It is another sop to iwi in order for the govt to secure the maori vote. Maori are not entitled to special privileges. In 1981 this country showed the world what we thought of Apartheid but this govt is hell bent on race based law whatever the consequences may be. One law to rule them all.||Kevin|
|If this government passes this bill as it stands and as a further sop to Maori then they can forget about a fourth term. the people of New Zealand have had a guts full of seeing their elected government led round by the nose by a minority party that barely registers on the electoral scale. John Key should immediately grasp the offer of New Zealand First and take all references to a minority of the population out of the RMA and review the RMA in the way it wS originally intended and in the interests of all New Zealanders. Such action might even remind the electorate of the promises hemmed back in 2008 to do away with the Maori seats in parliament and to limit the treaty claims. It might even remind the P.M. That he was given a huge mandate at that time because of thos promises, long since broken.||Jim|
|We can not have separatist rules giving priority to any one group over another.||Mark|
|Act needs radical amendment & agree with Winston Peter’s proposal that special race based provisions are removed.||Margaret|
|Allowing the race based and undemocratic proposals to become law will be the very worst thing that could happen.Everything that can be done to stop this from happening must be done. If these race based portions become part of the RMA the country is heading for civil unrest.||Bryan|
|Please let us have a look at Winston Peters’ proposals.||Rob|
|Never. This is a sell out of another election promise just to appease Maoridom and retain short term power. It will be remembered as a betrayal of democracy in a long line of betrayal in this country. It heralds more concessions to the Environmental/Green lobby, and chalks up another favour for Helen Clark with United Nations. For God sake National have you lost all your principals, honour and freedom; ‘CBENEFICIUM ACCIPERE LIBERTATEM EST VENDERE’||Brian|
|Section 6&7 should not refer to maori in any form. We are one nation and one people, and the RMA should reflect thae Principal.||Ian|
|The existing nightmare would become even worse.||Peter|
|The RMA requires a compete overhaul by an independent panel who need to address its basic existence and its purpose. Idiot politicians enacting ad hoc policy to advance their own self-serving agendas and continuing with divisive policy is not good government. We expect better.||Charles|
|One country one culture one people.||Bonnie|
|The proposed amendments will be largely ineffectual and surely no sane government would even entertain the introduction of the clearly racist provisions proposed. The ridiculous and factually non-existent “partnership” between Maori and the Crown should not form any part of future changes to the RMA. All New Zealanders are equal in the eyes of the law and the RMA provisions should reflect this.||Les|
|All race based proposals should be removed and no consulting with unelected iwi.||Margaret|
|Because it is simply removing some barriers and replacing them with less justified undemocratic ‘rights’.||Graeme|
|There should be no special groups to get any better deal than any other group.||Geoff|
|Its racist, unworkable and divisive!||Michael|
|This Bill once again introduces a racial element into legislation if passed. I have already been told by Minister of Maori Affairs that the Bill he is introducing will further restrict Maori owner’s ability do trade the land that they own.||Laurie|
|Just can’t understand how Maori keep getting more privilege and priority give to them as a gift from the National Party at every turn. Won’t be voting that lot again.||Joe|
|Totally opposed to any legislation as it stands. Maori should not have a preferential vote on any resource affecting NZ as a nation.||Jeff|
|The proposed amendments to the RMA are undemocratic and irresponsible. Remove all race based proposals.||Graham|
|This RMA needs looking into.||Robert|
|Because of the racial inequality. why cant this racial bias in so many areas be dealt with across the whole spectrum in one go.||Anthony|
|I support NZ First and Winston’s demand “that National drop ALL provisions in the bill that provide separate rights based on race.%u201D This is simply a matter of common sense if the RMA is to be streamlined.||Steve|
|The proposals entrench separatism into all our develoment activities and this must be oposed by all thinking people.||Victor|
|Will deepen racial divide.||Graeme|
|The Reform Bill as drafted removes the basic rule of law form individuals and places it in the hands of an unelected minority.||Harry|
|I do not approve of giving Maori special privileges in any guise whatsoever. No special privileges for Maori, no rights for unelected people on Council decision making bodies whatsoever, or for that matter, central government decision making processes.||Dianna|
|But it does not go far enough. Rmove all race relate parts. Remove those buearocratese who get paid far to much and replace them with sensible people who do not listen to the Maori activists but are able to lok at the issues and make clear decisions.||Johan|
|I’m with Winston Peters on this one. We should not be sold out by a political numbers game. Is it time to change the Government.||Dave|
|Because it puts Maori in the driving seat when resource consents are sought.||Terry|
|The Govt did not reform the RMA enough because of political trade offs. This country is getting stuck in a big bog through this countries lack of leadership resulting in ‘negative’ votes.||Stuart|
|I totally support the need for RMA reform. However I do not believe the current approach is reform as needed and required.||Kevin|
|Race based and not helpful to getting on with the project. I have been 3 years trying to build on my own property in Pukekohe and at this juncture still waiting for final consent.||Rodney|
|NO RACE BASED PROVISIONS,I GO WITH WINSTON PETERS.||JOHANNES|
|Definately no because it is racially biased and I think that all NZ citizens should be treated equally.||Peter|
|It’s definitely so racist the mind boggles — time to get rid of the Maori Party.||Alan|
|Undemocratic. All citizens of NZ should have equal rights. Special powers should not be given to racial groups. We already have this problem in Rotorua with our local council handing out voting rights to an unelected racial group..||Des|
|As it stands it is racists and also not balancing the environmental and economical issues as seen by the example where Govt has changed for housing and Chch.||S|
|As almost always, the government succumb to the greed of the minority without thinking too much about who their voting base is.||Malcolm|
|Once again one people one nation.||Jim|
|Prefer the status quo.||Warren|
|Not for the first time I agree with Winston Peters view and regard his offer as one which should be welcomed by the current government. The bill as it stands is not helping anyone directly but indirectly it is pandering to the few who refer to themselves as indigenous.||Mike|
|No, because like everything in NZ it panders to maori and is therefore racist.||Stevo|
|The racial content is undemocratic and divisive.||Roderick|
|More political claptrap from the MOUSETRAP?||IAN|
|Entrenched in it is the explicit premise of Maori supremacy.||Janet|
|Sidesteps democratic principals by allowing Iwi unelected members on committees.||David|
|I am totally against any unelected people of any stripe having any say in any decision above that of the average natural person. National are treading on very dangerous ground.||Dave|
|In their present form these provisions are unworkable, expensive and time consuming. They stand exposed for what they are, a political sop to the votes of the Maori Party needed to pass this legislation.||Alan|
|It will increase racial division, giving one race power over the entire population when the reality is that the minority race is the minority. The effectiveness of the RMA will be reduced considerably.||Murray|
|Race based legislation has no place in our democracy.||David|
|It is turning us into a racist society. We should be ONE people in NZ.||Winifred|
|I support Winston Peters recommendation.||Geoff|
|I am totally against any form of racial favouritism||Peter|
|In the light of the last 25 years of application of the RMA to development it has become clear that it is not working for the balanced growth required in this country. Already there are far too many examples of the use of spurious ‘reasons’, frequently based on Maori cultural premises, delaying or preventing reasonable and essential development projects. To now have the intent of allowing a section of the community to have two bites of the cherry when approving or rejecting potential development is absurd and, in a democracy, should be illegal. All people regardless of any characteristics of those people, should have equal rights when debating issues of national and community importance.||Alan|
|Remove all racist clause.||Bill|
|Until Govt drops maori owning all the fresh water rights etc just to get their support THEY WILL NOT GET MY VOTE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 50 YRS.||Graeme|
|All race-based conditions must go. It’s time for John Key to show whether he’s a true statesman, or merely an opportunistic pragmatist who has no regard for basic democratic principles.||Graham|
|I was a NZ based multinational environment manager in Wellington, from 1986-1993, and we struggled with environmental compliance initially, but went on to win an environmental award. I met the RMA architect, Geoffery Palmer on 3 occasions, whilst representing the NZ Chemical Industry Council, he was always grumpy! The Min of the Environment were a terrible bureaucracy to deal with and we raised this with Palmer, he was not interested. His brain only dealt with complexities and when I presented a paper outlining my company’s problems at an environmental conference that he was a guest speaker at, he got very irate! The original RMA was highly flawed and overly complex, since then it has been amended countless times and is so complex specialist lawyers have emerged to add to all the costs. It is a shambles. Muriel is right the Act is clearly in need of radical reform. I have no confidence that this will occur with the current government.||David|
|All references to iwi being involved in the decision making processes must be removed.||Trevor|
|Another example of non elected Maori Interests – 15% of the population – having a controlling interest.||John|
|Winston Peters makes sense on this issue. Race must be removed from the Bill.||Murray|
|The RMA needs to be revamped, but not at the expense of our Democracy. Equality before the law is a primary principle of democracy; its cavalier erasure, deplorable.||Joyce|
|There should be no race based legislation whatsoever – 1 country for all! As a trout fisherman who has spent a lot of time in & around Te Urewera national park it is obvious to me that Maori are NOT some special guardians of the environment, and should have no more say in environmental issues than anybody else. I have always found it best to avoid areas of rivers bordering Maori communities as it is sickening to see otherwise pristine waterways used as dumping grounds for unwanted cars, whiteware, animal carcasses & anything else they are too lazy to dispose of in an appropriate location. Forget the Maori party & their separatist BS, go with Winston on this one!||Dave|
|So in APARTHEID NZ this means my part Maori Grandaughter will continue to have greater entrenched rights than my Pakeha Grandsons – her first cousins. How patently ridiculous and unfair in APARTHEID NZ.||Geoff|
|All race-based components of the RMA need to be removed.||Terry|
|I loathe ALL race-based legislation. I have been VERY CONCERNED re Maori wanting rights over fresh water ever since it was first mooted.||Sylvia|
|It is not there to help protect the environment in which we live, but to promote interests which are antithetical to the idea that environmental health is paramount.||Rochelle|
|Totally opposed to all provisions in the bill that provide separate rights based on race.||Albert|
|Far too diluted. Also I am opposed to iwi having any more say in the process.||Garry|
|It promotes separatism and allows for race based appointees to make decisions.||Mark|
|No to any race based legislation.||Brian|
|One contry, one people. Winston Peters seems to be offering an answer that would level the playing field.||Ian|
|Leave it as it is.||Ian|
|Race based provisions are untenable and unsustainable.||Hans|
|Another Bill which is clearly race based by the current govt to buy votes from the maori party to get their legislation passed. It is abhorrent that local councils must ask local maoris for approval to make any changes. No where else in the democratic world would this be tolerated. This is clearly demonstrated as corrupt by the national govt’s politicians in their attempts to get what they want while ignoring the majority of the population. Anyone in another country observing this race based policy would believe that the minority maoris are some supreme race that have to approve or not, everything the elected govt by the majority population wish to do. The credibility of the current politicians is at an all time low, both main parties puctuated by the no accounts. Only in NZ would this be allowed and endured by the majority population.||David|
|Particularly dislike the race-based nature of the “reform”! What kind of reform is that in the NZ of today? I rarely agree with Winston Peters, but in this instance he’s right “on the button”!||Hamish|
|Totally opposed to more unelected Maori ‘rights’. Undemocratic and blatantly racial. Maori want these rights to further their own power and enrichment.||Laurie|
|No race based legislation should be allowed. It is a form of apartheid and alien to most New Zealanders. One nation, one people should apply.||Peter|
|..the ‘iwi’ mafia is totally out of order….this Nation is being divided forever….!!!!||Christopher|
|For the simple reason that it circumvents democratic process and extends to allow unelected racial minority to have influence over democratically elected persons. Also the fact it allows more than one option to exert their views and power.||Darryl|
|I hope Winston will put his bias aside and vote with the Government for reforms that will do what they’re intended to do, speed things up and make rules equal for everyone.||Chris|
|I support some sort of control over housing spreading out over some of our best prime food producing land. However we are ‘one people’ and no special rights should be granted anyone let alone on a race basis. Perhaps it is time to ‘scub up’ Winston and look to getting his support? The trouble is that he may not be reliable as support.||Tim|
|The proposals as they stand fail absolutely to redress the problems caused by the Act – in fact they add another layer of complication and cost. If it is thought that current procedures are obstructive, lengthy and costly, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Armed with the RMA and generally laymen compliant councillors local body bureaucracy in this country is totally out of control. What each council needs to do is go through its district/town plan and its other rules and regulations and remove everything that’s not required by the national laws. That would enable them to drastically reduce the bureaucrats they employ and hence many of the restrictions and costs imposed on ratepayers!!||Alan|
|It’s a start||Hugh|
|Maori have no greater rights than any other NZ citizen and should have no greater or less influence than any other citizens. Aparthied is alive and growing.||Kelvin|
|All iwi consenting requirements have to be removed , and council little Hitlers brought into line.||Colin|
|I do not support any race based legislation.||john|
|One law for ALL New Zealanders.||chris|
|I do not support the RMA. It is full of bureaucracy, nonsensical rules, compliance burdens and restrictions. While I support care for the environment, the RMA as it currently stands is driven from outside the environment!||Steve|
|Get Real. Take out the racist provisions and look at what will benefit the country … that’s what you were elected for.||Robbie.|
|No because it has racists clauses.||Jim|
|As it stands, the RMA reforms will not rebalance economic and environmental considerations, so it is only window dressing.||David|
|As it stands no because it will be ineffective and its racist.||Murray|
|Winston Peters has the right idea – let’s hope National is prepared to work with him.||Rose|
|Environmental concerns need to be protected.||Simon|