Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) Northern - Reform of resource system required

Reform of resource system required

10 Aug 2017
EMA, Infrastructure New Zealand, Property Council New Zealand and the Environmental Defence Society’s call for a cohesive strategy to drive reform of the country’s resource management and planning systems seems to have gained momentum.

The coalition of these organisations says their jointly funded research and first-hand experience of the current system clearly demonstrates it is failing its environmental goals and New Zealand’s prosperity is being held back.  Change is now urgent.

Views expressed at EDS’s Tipping Points conference reflect this. Today, the Green Party called for a formal review of New Zealand’s environmental management and planning laws, if it was in Government.

“The evidence of our failure is clear.  Escalating housing unaffordability, groaning infrastructure and a slow but significant deterioration in the quality of monitored streams, rivers and lakes are just some examples,” says Gary Taylor, CEO, Environmental Defence Society.

Collectively the coalition is calling on the Government, whatever its make-up post-23 September, to be bold, visionary and initiate a broad review covering of the system as a whole.

“A Royal Commission is one way to do that.  As a coalition, we are open to other ways to provide a broad and independent review that can cut through political sensitivities, accommodate the diverse perspectives of multiple stakeholders and provide binding outcomes,” says Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA

The problems are wider than the RMA, reaching into New Zealand’s system of local government, the role, form and resourcing of councils and how infrastructure is planned and funded,” says Stephen Selwood, Chief Executive of Infrastructure New Zealand

Having consulted extensively, the coalition recognises that whilst many New Zealanders agree there is a need for change, they differ on how to achieve it.

“What is needed, in our view, is a first principles review of our central and local government planning, funding and environmental resource management system.  This review must also bring together and draw upon the experience and insight of business, environmental, community and political voices,” says Connal Townsend, Chief Executive Property Council New Zealand.

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