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Ed Said - The Act of resource management

dadAfter the last election the Government advocated changes to the Resource Management Act specifically “reforming two crucial clauses, Sections 6 and 7 which define the "sustainable management" principle in Section 5 of the RMA following proposals to collapse the two interpretive clauses into one and to add economic development elements that would balance up environmental considerations.”

Can anyone explain to me what that really means. We are bombarded today with a whole lot of gobbledegook fashioned to sound educated but, in fact, losing sight of the basics.

Following is just a very brief precis released in August 2013, providing a summary of the resource management reform proposals.

* clearer national direction and tools

* single, local resource management plans that address future environmental and development priorities and cover all local, regional and national issues; replacing the range of planning documents we have today

* simpler, faster and fewer resource consents

* Māori interests and values to be considered earlier in resource management planning processes with solutions developed upfront

* comprehensive management of natural hazards in planning and consenting

* housing affordability addressed through explicit attention being paid to this issue in plans and changes to consenting arrangements to drive down their cost and improve their timeliness.

The big challenge is how to do all that without sacrificing environmental quality. More gobbledegook.

We will apparently have “greater use of National Policy Statements and National Environmental Standards.” Still more gobbledegook!

During consultation more than 2000 people attended over 50 meetings including hui and dedicated council meetings.

More than 13,000 submissions were received on the discussion document. But then comes discussion and more discussion, then debate, and counter argument.There will then be further opportunity for public input to proposed reforms during the select committee process.

Then when things are finally agreed- and probably only by the barest majority, opposition parties will all jump on the bandwagon and tell us what’s wrong with the process, how the Government has completely lost its way and what really should have been the outcome. Why not consider this- Using simple language.

Generally speaking all anyone wants is to keep the world and its people fed, warm, clothed and housed and to follow some simple guidelines- probably the ten commandments would do the job nicely.

The following gems I heard recently from a former town planner on RMA purpose and principles:

1 The purpose of the Act is to allow progress to happen so long as we don’t stuff up our environment.

2 Leave something for our Grandkids’ futures.

3 Don’t poison the joint or cover it in concrete and fix things that get broken in the process.

So simple it’s not surprising she is NOT now a town planner. There are two ways of doing most things so why do tend to let over-education get in the way of commonsense?

Just my thoughts.

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