Saturday, 14 May 2005

Message to New Zealand: Dump the RMA

Helengrad Mayor Kerry Prendergast learnt something yesterday about the Resource Management Act (RMA).

Reports the Dom this morning: Plans to host a V8 supercar street race in Wellington will be dumped. The city council – which has already spent $175,000 trying to bring the race to Wellington – blames difficulties caused by the Resource Management Act.

Well there you go. Add that to the litany of projects variously scrapped, canned, delayed, stillborn, unborn and never-to-be born because of difficulties caused by the RMA. Wake up Kerry. Wake up New Zealand. You've been had -- and you'll keep being had as long as you keep voting for the RMA to stay.

We are gutted, Mayor Kerry Prendergast said yesterday. I don't want New Zealand to be a `can't do' country for events.

Message to Kerry: It is. These here are the people who made it that way.

Former Helengrad Mayor now National's Helengrad Central candidate Mark Blumsky is also gutted. Tens of thousands of not only Wellingtonians but New Zealanders will be gutted that a very small minority group has used the RMA as a weapon to stop really good things happening in Wellington.

Message to Mark: Your National Party introduced the RMA.

So my message to New Zealand this morning: You've been had. Time to put a stake through the heart of the Resource Management Act. As an act of mercy to us all it's long overdue.

Time too for Wellingtonian voters to tell Helengrad Central MP and Minister of the RMA Marian Hobbs what they think about the RMA. Just don't expect National to put it right either. Or ACT. After all, their people introduced it.

[UPDATE: I'm adding a link here to Libz 2002 Environment Policy so you can see what an alternative looks like to the authoritarian RMA regime have at present. I commend it to your attention.]


  1. There was one party, in parliament, which also opposed the RMA. Which one was that?

  2. You aint wrong there, PC. What is RMA anyway? Remove Meaningful Activities?

  3. Berend, you said, " There was one party, in parliament, which also opposed the RMA. Which one was that?

    No parliamentary party has ever proposed abolishing the RMA. Roll on the day that they do.

    National, ACT, Labour, Greens … they all agree the Act needs amendment, change or some degree of tinkering. Between them they've advocating that it be respectively “updated and reformed,” “confined to its original intent,” “enhanced,” and (my personal favourite, from the Greens) “strengthened” to provide for “mandatory planning.” And God knows what the Maori Party will be wanting to do with it.

    But not one of these parties -— not one -— will stand up and admit that the only possible solution for this out-of-control monster is immediate euthanasia, followed by the immediate re-introduction of the common law protection of property rights that half-a-century of planning legislation has buried.

    It's the only solution. The common law has seven-hundred years of sophistication in successfully dealing with the issues in which the RMA has failed so miserably for ten.

    It's time.

  4. Your statement is close to untrue. Here ACT's policy:

    Let me quote:

    The flaws in the RMA are so fundamental that no amount of tinkering can solve them. Centrally planned development is not a sustainable activity.

    Technically ACT wants to abolish the RMA. The name might remain, but let's not argue over words. In the end ACT's and your solution are one and the same. That's the big difference with all otherh parties.

  5. Berend, you said: "Technically ACT wants to abolish the RMA."

    Technically. TECHNICALLY!! If they want to abolish it then WHY NOT JUST SAY SO!! Why the obfuscation.

    What you've said here -- technical abolition -- is just spin. And so is the policy.

    As the saying goes, Berend, "Show me the money." Too much ACT policy sounds good until you get to the bottom line, ie., what is it actually promising to do. At that point it usually runs right out of spine.

    Bear in mind that a poltician needs to be pinned down as much as a car salesman does: Read the fine print; look at what is actually promised. The large print giveth, Berend, and the small print taketh away.

    "Review the RMA on a first-principle basis..." Which are?

    "To provide for compensation for the removal of common law property rights." Why should common law property rights ever be removed?

    "Private property rights must be recognised and never appropriated without compensation." No. As Daryl Kerrigan might say about the last two words, "Tell 'em they're dreaming."

    "Refocus it on achieving a balance of benefits and costs rather than on particular outcomes." Blah, blah, blah.


    The policy doesn't boil down to a pitcher of spit when you look at it, does it, despite the grand-sounding claims. It's not that "A much greater role for common law actions and remedies must be restored" -- I say abolish and go back to common law actions and remedies. Full stop. Trying to emulate seven-hundred years of sophistication with a few months of knocked-together "by case-by-case regulations" doesn't cut it. Seven-hundred years of common law is already there. Approximating it just won't do.

    Despite all that, it's better than they said prior to this policy, which amounted essentially to "more consultants please."

    I venture to say that ACT would not have said even as much as this if not for Libz agitation. For ten years we've been the only voice saying the RMA needs to go. As Mrs Marsh would say, 'It does get in!'

    But it ain't there yet. If it did, I'd be the first to trumpet from the hills.

  6. what happen if (when?) RMA gone?

  7. I am partway through your article on the RMA and can totally relate as a builder and comunity-minded citizen in our town in No. California. I particularly like the Rand quote about the productive going cap in hand to the unproductive. It's like developers and even just homeowners who have to go to our L.I.F.E.R. planning department for approval.


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