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RMA Reform Bill Third Reading ‘A Reform Entrée’

06 September 2013

NEW ZEALAND - Federated Farmers has given a cautious welcome to the Resource Management Reform Bill 2012, which recently passed its third reading in the Parliament.

“While some parts of the Bill relate to Auckland, other parts are an economic and environmental appetizer for farmers,” said Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson.

“There are some aspects we welcome, some we have reservations about and some we do not think go far enough.

“A few environmental activists have irrationally fought tooth and nail against having a robust cost benefit analysis in the RMA. Without one, however, the RMA was increasingly trending towards perfection as a benchmark and that is as unaffordable as it is unobtainable.

“So the reforms as passed are a start but we need to wait and see if it is window dressing, or whether there is real teeth to ensure RMA proposals are tested for affordability as well as community impacts.

“That will only come when the new cost-benefit analysis is put to the test.

“This will prevent parties from elongating the resource management processes, which has only turned the RMA into a costly minefield - hurting applicants, job hunters and frankly, the environment.

“Fonterra’s recent revised forecast payout could add over NZ$500 million to our economy if it sticks. Yet Minister Adams told Federated Farmers National Conference that some NZ$800 million worth of projects over the past two years had stopped dead because of RMA frustrations.

“So the Bill is a very welcome entrée ahead of the main course of reform we expect later in the year,” Mr Mackenzie concluded.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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