Monday, March 25, 2024

David Farrar: Good suggestions on fast tracked consenting

The NZ Initiative has some good suggestions around the Govt's fast track consenting law:

* Eligibility criteria for projects should include economic efficiency, with cost benefit analysis used to help prioritise projects for referral and approval.

* Expert panels should include expertise on economic analysis.

* Final decision approval, including the ability to apply conditions, should either be given to the expert panel rather than Ministers, or if Ministers remain decision-makers, disclosure requirements be included covering reasons for declining expert panel recommendations, applicants' meetings with Ministers and any political donations applicants make.

* Include the minister for the Environment in the decision-making process to ensure environmental considerations are given sufficient weight.

* A sunset clause to make fast-tracking temporary while wider substantial RMA reform (and reviews of other conservation-related legislation) is undertaken.

* The compensation payments under the public works act should be increased to incentivise early agreement with landowners.

I have previously written on the need for enhanced disclosure requirements if Ministers are decision makers. I like the proposal to have a fourth Minister involved as decision maker, and to have a sunset clause for it. Also a very good idea to make sure all expert panels have an economist on it. We've seen with wellington city council what goes wrong when no one on an expert panel understands economics.

David Farrar runs Curia Market Research, a specialist opinion polling and research agency, and the popular Kiwiblog where this article was sourced. He previously worked in the Parliament for eight years, serving two National Party Prime Ministers and three Opposition Leaders.

1 comment:

Basil Walker said...

The article included disclosure of any political donations applicants make. This is grubby additional debate whereas the need for fast tracking is necessary for developing ideas and is greater than petty local government and maori consultation politics.