February 15, 2021
Reform new start for Maori in planning
The Environment Minister says reform of the Resource Management Act is a chance to improve the status of the Treaty of Waitangi in planning laws.
David Parker wants to replace the RMA with a Natural and Built Environments Act, an Act allowing for coordination of strategic planning, and another covering climate change.
He says the RMA has become unwieldy and expensive to manage and navigate, and over its 30 year lifetime water quality has gone backwards, carbon emissions have risen and development of new housing has lagged demand.
He says a review of the Act led by retired judge Tony Randerson and including a Māori reference group concluded the participation provisions were also not working.
"They thought the treaty clause should be elevated. It currently says the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi have to be had regard to. That test should be elevated to 'give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi'," Minister Parker says.
The new built environment and strategic planning acts will involve Māori in planning at an earlier stage.
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