The partners of Berry Simons agree with a key conclusion of the Environmental Defence Society’s report “Evaluating the Environmental Outcomes of the RMA” that “the environmental outcomes of the RMA have not met expectations, largely as a result of poor implementation”, rather than poor delivery by the RMA itself.
The EDS report also notes that “prior reform has often proceeded with limited evidentiary basis to the demise of the overall coherence of the system". PCNZ, NZCID, EMA and EDS also all agree that any further reform of the RMA should only proceed on the basis of proper evidence and following an informed, non-partisan public discussion.
These messages are entirely consistent with Berry Simons' recent paper outlining the shortcomings of the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015.
The report is a key outcome of a project launched by the Property Council, Auckland Employers and Manufacturers Association and the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development to assess, based on the best information available, whether the Resource Management Act 1991 “has delivered desired environmental outcomes for New Zealand".“It was refreshing to hear intelligent commentary from an alliance of business and environmental interests that what is required is a mature conversation about how to manage the related issues arising under the RMA, Local Government Act and Land Transport Management Act rather than simplistically blaming, and constantly tinkering with, the RMA," say Sue Simons.
"Hopefully the Minister will see fit to pause for thought in relation to the more controversial aspects of the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill and see this initiative as a sound starting point for properly thought-through and objectively justifiable changes to the system,” she adds.
Refer to the article in POLITIK Today political newsletter.