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 reflects this. Today, the Green Party called for a formal review of
New Zealand’s environmental management and planning laws, if it was in
"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
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.
For further information and comment contact
Stephen Selwood on 021 791 209