Yes. while you were all more interested in which particular power luster wins the battle to take American down the toilet, your political betters in this country have cooked up a deal: In return for the Maori Party allowing Nick Smith to do a little to the RMA, he has agreed to let them do a lot. [UPDATE: Details here. They’re not pretty.]
A controversial overhaul to the Resource Management Act which National has failed to get across the line for years has gained the support of the Māori Party.
Co-leaders Marama Fox and Te Ururoa Flavell said in an announcement on Wednesday they successfully advocated for improved iwi participation, resolving their concerns with the Act.
Environment Minister Nick Smith says now an agreement has been reached, this will allow the bill to pass its second and third readings.
The changes will be the biggest reform to the Act in decades, and are touted by Dr Smith as removing unnecessary red tape when applying for resource consents.
Note that key phrase “improved iwi participation.” Whatever red tape is actually removed, more mostly tepid reforms, the “Iwi participation arrangements” give them a great deal: essentially veto power for iwi over all land development in the country.
As if it weren’t already bad enough …
Remember, the RMA is the Act giving young planners total power over what every land-owner in the country can do on their own land. It is the Act that constrains the development of new houses and which, more than any other single piece of red tape, is responsible for the housing crisis. Smith proposes removing a little of the planners’ power, and making iwi leaders “partners” with the planners in telling you what you can and can’t do on your own land.
The Taniwha Tax is thrown out the front door – an ad hoc rule in Auckland meaning that in some circumstance you couldn’t make a move until you’ve checked with up to thirteen local iwi – and in the back door will come a nationwide rule mandating you check with them in all circumstances.
Nick Smith didn’t have to agree to this. He did have a choice. It’s not like the tepid, warmed-over reforms his party has been promoting are worth very much. And an unreliable grandstander he may be, but Winston Peters did offer to assist the Government achieve what he calls “meaningful RMA reform” provided that all references to separatist “Maori preferences” were eliminated from the Act – and his party’s votes were sufficient to pass Smith’s tepid reforms without needing the Maori Party’s support.
Crucially too, in one of the few references ever by a politician to property rights in relation to the RMA, Peters added at the time that reform of the RMA should “include landowner compensation if councils continue to restrict property rights under the RMA” – again with the proviso that all “meaningless preferences” are removed from the legislation. “His offer MIGHT finally make meaningful RMA reform possible,” said Don Brash at the time, “and eliminate racial preferences from the legislation.”
But Peters has been spurned.
“Iwi participation” is now on the table.
And property rights will be further shunned in what will otherwise be yet another meaningless tinkering with this Act that fails everyone but those in power
Which now includes iwi leaders.
- “Since these same promises have been made every single time the Resource Management Act has been amended – right back to Nick Smith’s first tinkering with it back in the late 90s – and right up to the Key Government’s last chocolate-coated turd -- I won’t be holding my breath for Nick Smith’s promised announcement tomorrow any more than I have been for the last twenty years of promises.”
So they’re “reforming” the RMA again? – NOT PC, Jan 2015
- “Peters is right to say this is separatism. He is wrong to think it is anything new. In my chapter in the recent book One Treaty, One Nation (available at all good booksellers), I point out that separatism is nothing new; it has been a growing part of New Zealand planning law—a process that accelerated in the last two decades with the introduction of the Resource Management Act.”
Peters, and the path to separatism: It has been long mapped out – NOT PC, 2016
- “If you’re buying or building a house in Auckland—or contemplating doing yours up—then don’t make another move until you’ve checked with your local iwi. Or even up to thirteen local iwi, each of them with their hand out.”
WATCH: 'Taniwha Tax' exposed on TV3 – NOT PC, Dec 2015
- “’Without property rights’ - without a place to stand- ‘no other rights are possible.’ Point that out to the drafters of the RMA Amendments when you get a chance.”
Right to property = a place to stand – NOT PC, 2005
- “So what [are they] proposing for the protection of property rights? … [They] "will ensure that property rights are never taken without compensation." Huh?! That's what [they] call protecting the sanctity of property rights? Subsidising theft? …
“Unfortunately, this disgraceful apology for property rights -- the idea that property rights = compensation for 'takings' -- has also gained traction in the US, where Donald Trump used it to have the New Jersey legislature try and throw people out of their houses in Atlantic City, so that he could build a new parking lot for his casino. …
“This is not the sanctity of private property rights, this is legal plunder.”
ACT [not] protecting property rights – NOT PC, 2005