RMA Changes Workshop

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Slides with some of the main concerns with proposed changes to the RMA.

Slides with some of the main concerns with proposed changes to the RMA.

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  • 1. Resource Management Reforms Gisborne Public Workshop 21 March 2013
  • 2. Workshop Structure• RMA presentation (20min.)• Discussion (40min.)• Freshwater management presentation (10min.)• Questions/Comments (20min.)
  • 3. Context• RM reform key aspect of Govt economic growth agenda• Local Government reforms (purpose, powers, priorities)• Improving Our Resource Management System Discussion Paper (28 Feb 2013) & Freshwater Management System Discussion Paper (9 March 2013) – submissions due 2 April• previous discussion papers: – Technical Advisory Group (2012) – Building Competitive Cities• recent RM Reform Bill (Feb 2013)• streamlining & simplification reforms (2009)
  • 4. Problem definition by govtUnclear and inadequate problem definition: – costs & delays of planning & consenting processes – impact on economic growth & jobs – lack of consistency/predictability – overly complex planning framework – over-emphasis on environmental protection rather than other positive outcomes (economic) – issues of national importance may not be local priority – housing affordability & land supply problem (Auckland)
  • 5. Positive Proposals• Interest in efficiency and simplified systems
  • 6. Key issues with proposals• Undermines fundamental purpose of the Act – reduces environmental protection considerations – elevates private economic interests• Erosion of local democracy – shift to increased centralisation of power – reduced role for the Environment Court• Unclear match with unclear problems• Lack of time to properly dialogue within communities and with Govt
  • 7. Changes to Part II (purposes & principles)• Sections 6 & 7 (principles) amended – two sections merged into non-hierarchical list of principles (elevating economic and reducing environmental protection) – removal of: amenity values, intrinsic values of eco- systems, finite characteristics of natural and physical resources, ethic of stewardship. – insertion of ‘specified’ into s6 (b) & (c) – references to historic heritage & public access to coastal & riparian areas weakened – insertion of built environment – Insertion of natural hazards
  • 8. Changes to Part II (purposes & principles)• Implications: – overall weakening of environmental protections through increasing economic considerations – removing amenity values likely to impact on provisions around privacy, lighting, quality design, historic character, etc. – reduce Council ability to decline applications on grounds of significant environmental effects – focus on built environment is on infrastructure not design and liveability
  • 9. Central Control• ‘streamlining’ process for ‘urgent’ issues: – reduced community involvement undermines democratic process – increased central government control of process – councils should determine what is urgent – Government already able to direct on truly urgent issues – unelected Crown appointed panel• Government power to direct plan changes • Minister directs change and amends plan without any public involvement or local decision-making
  • 10. Environment Court• ‘Faster resolution of EC proceedings’ – Reducing the involvement of the Environment Court in resource management by • reducing appeal rights when councils prepare a joint resource management • reducing the scope of appeals • the Environment Court currently provides independent oversight of resource management decision making and ensures high quality outcomes are achieved. – Move away from voluntary nature of alternative dispute resolution
  • 11. Consenting Process• Some activities to be stipulated nationally as non- notified• Limiting scope of consent conditions• Limiting participation in submissions & appeals – Limited to those directly related to reasons for notification – Submitters restricted to directly affected parties• Removal of de novo status of appeal hearings• Crown body to hear some types of consents• 10 days processing limit – Applied to ‘straight forward’ non-notified consents
  • 12. • more meaningful and effective Māori participation early in the plan-making process.• clarifying the role of iwi/Māori by requiring councils who do not have an arrangement with local iwi to establish one gives opportunity for iwi/Māori to directly provide advice during the development of plans.• requiring consultation with iwi on NES• making it easier to use existing tools for participation such as joint management agreements• improving the awareness and accessibility of iwi management plans.