December 21, 2016
Pressure on Maori Party to drop RMA vote
Labour MP Meka Whaitiri says it’s time for the Maori Party to withdraw its support for the Government’s Resource Management Act reform.
The party has written to the Government expressing concerns about the powers the proposed bill give the environment minister to prohibit local authorities from making specified types of rules.
Their concern was triggered by complaints the minister could override councils who made rules against the use of genetically engineered organisms in their areas.
Ms Whatiri says the Maori Party MPs were warned about the section when they made their deal with National, but they went ahead anyway.
"They did it on the basis that iwi participation would be increased. Many iwi already have co-governance, co-arrangements with local councils through their treaty settlements. That's all at risk because of the extra- ordinary power given to the minister. So that's why they should just come out and say they won't back it," she says.
Meka Whaitiri says the bill would be a direct breach of the Maori Party’s own policy to work towards a GE-Free New Zealand.
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