July 31, 2020
RMA undermined by taniwha tax approach
A Māori commentator is welcoming the promised end of the Resource Management Act, which he says often put Māori in a bad light.
A review of the 30-year-old law led by retired Court of Appeal Judge Tony Randerson QC has recommended its replacement with a Natural and Built Environments Act and a Strategic Planning Act.
Ward Kamo, who did post-graduate studies on the RMA, says the law has become unwieldy as district and regional councils interpreted in it wildly inconsistent ways.
While it does allow for Māori input, that draws accusations of so called taniwha taxes when iwi are consulted on matters in which they had no interest, such as the shape of windows or the removal of garden trees.
"This idea that you've got to pass absolutely everything past Māori because if you don't you'll get in trouble, I'm going to be blunt and say it's borderline racist. The bottom line is we want to be sensible dealt with as Māori and we know that an apple tree in the back of a person's yard is not our business and we're simply not interested unless of course what you discover under that crabapple is an urupā – then we become very interested. But what we expect is for people to use their common sense, not least of which the council," Mr Kamo says.
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