Friday, September 7, 2012
Frank Newman: Environmental activism
When the Resource Management Act (RMA) was first introduced it was with the expectation that it would empower communities. It has done the opposite. It’s evolved into a web of rules and regulations created by environmental activists to advance their preservationist views. The effect has been to increase land prices and stifle economic growth and social wellbeing in the provinces. Rural folk are not happy, and are saying so in greater numbers.
The question I ask is how is it that an “enabling” piece of legislation like the RMA has grow into what it is today?
Since the introduction of the RMA, activist organisations like the Department of Conservation (DoC) and the Environmental Defence Society (EDS) have been very successful in having their protectionist agenda introduced into rules and regulations. They have been able to do so because they have many hundreds of thousands of (taxpayer and ratepayer) dollars at their disposal to argue their agenda (against taxpayers and ratepayers) at all stages of the law making process, right through to Court mediations and appeals, which is where the final version of local authority rules and regulations are negotiated and written.
Most property owners do not have the stamina or resources to run the course and drop out on the way through leaving only DOC, EDS and local council planning staff around the table to write the rules. That’s why landowners are losing the battle against environmental activists. That’s why protectionist policies like the NZ Coastal Strategy Policy Statement 2010 say nothing about economic benefits or the social benefits of people and jobs. DoC, and the EDS don’t actually care about jobs, or the economic viability of our communities, and to be honest, neither do council planning staff.
When the rules are actually written, who is there arguing for property owners?
at 5:26 PM