One of the main reasons for unaffordable housing, and an overall shortage of supply in New Zealand, is the multitude of planning documents that have to be dealt with by applicants even when making the simplest of applications.
There is a natural tendency for these layers to grow because the environment is essentially infinite and hence finally requires an infinite number of plans. So we need to check out any set of proposals as to whether they will require further layers by legislative fiat. Similarly, if we want to encourage innovation we need to keep the patent, copyright, and trademark processes as simple as possible and compatible with international intellectual property law.
Unfortunately, the intellectual property law of tribal societies is completely incompatible with the intellectual property law that prevails under contemporary international conventions, in which invention and creativity is rooted in an individual’s effort, rather than some claim to ownership by an undefined and undefinable group.
The Wai 262 Waitangi Tribunal report (flora and fauna and cultural intellectual property claim) throws a whole new layer of legal uncertainty into the development of our biological and agricultural resources, and an inevitable increase in the negative impact of DURT.
This impediment to innovation will have a negative impact on all New Zealanders including those of Maori descent, because no contractual agreement based on intellectual property rights to local artistic and biological property will be secure.
The lawyers will love it. Maybe that’s why Mai Chen looks so happy.
See Mai Chen, New Zealand Herald, July 7, 2011, No Big Bang but Society will Change