MP for Northland, Mike Sabin, hosted Minister for the Environment, the Hon Amy Adams, at a packed meeting at the Wellsford Community Centre last week to discuss proposed reforms to the Resource Management Act (RMA).
“The Minister was a hit and her pragmatic, common-sense approach to the reform of the RMA absolutely struck a chord with the audience, largely made up of farmers, contractors and business people from across the Rodney, Wellsford and Kaipara area,” says Mr Sabin.
The meeting, which was attended by just under 200 people, was organised by the Land Care and Contractors Protection Association (LCPA) who were formed about two years ago out of frustration with the RMA.
“I have met with the LCPA a number of times and brought their concerns to the notice of the Minister as examples of the challenges so many were facing in navigating their way through RMA processes. These are hard-working, salt-of-the-earth people who were trying to find constructive solutions to the problems presented by the current RMA model.”
The Minister talked through a number of the aspects of the RMA, and the proposed changes and timelines, before answering a number of questions from the LCPA executive and audience members.
Mr Sabin also updated the meeting on progress on the Puhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance, the Local Government reform process now underway, and his intention to speak with the Minister for the Environment on concerns raised by the Northland Regional Council on the coastal mapping process required under the National Policy Statement.
“The feedback from the meeting was outstanding and the audience were very impressed with what they heard from the Minister, which is heartening,” says Mr Sabin.
“I will continue to work with the Minister as this process unfolds, as it is vital to the growth of our economy and also the psyche of businesses and land owners who have been so frustrated. This is positive stuff and is about achieving balance, clarity and timeliness in consenting processes.” Mr Sabin says.