November 16, 2022
Māori concept misused to attack taiao
A Māori environment consultant says the replacement for the Resource Management Act misinterprets a Māori concept in a way that undermines sustainability.
Mahina-a-rangi Baker says while the proposed legislation says te oranga o te taiao or the wellbeing of the environment is at its heart, that concept is not interpreted in a way which is consistent with the Maori world view.
While the RMA required all standards be set at levels which guaranteed sustainability, the new bill merely requires they be set at the current state.
“We can all continue to use resources at the rates we are currently using them – if things are degraded we can continue to degrade them in the way we are degrading them. And so I think you can see immediately that’s not consistent with a Maori world view around Te Taiao and the fundamental principle of protecting mauri, protecting the integrity of te taiao so it’s sustainable and there’s enough for everyone to use,” Dr Baker says.
She says while the Government claims the reform will simplify resource consenting, its failure to set environmental bottom lines means it’s likely many consents will end up in court.