3 February, 2009
Fixing RMA crucial to future growth
Prime Minister John Key today announced the first phase of the Government's reforms to simplify and streamline the Resource Management Act.
"The RMA has been a source of huge frustration and National gave a commitment that it would introduce legislation within our first 100 days in office.
"New Zealand depends on the sustainable use of our natural resources for our economic well being. That's why the RMA is so crucial.
"But the RMA has been a handbrake on growth. It has led to uncertainty around developments and stalled projects, including those of national importance. We need to unlock that lost growth potential and untangle the red tape suffocating everyone from homeowners to businesses.
"These reforms are long overdue, and the current economic climate adds fresh urgency to the changes. We need to remove the barriers that stand in the way of improving New Zealand's infrastructure and the creation of new industries and jobs. Reforming the RMA will help ensure the future prosperity of our country.
"I acknowledge the work of the technical advisory group, which was set up as a result of the confidence and supply agreement with Act.
"The reforms strike a sensible balance that delivers on our environmental responsibilities and allows us to seize economic opportunities. It also preserves the rights of communities to have a fair say.
"The Government is committed to future-proofing New Zealand's regulatory framework and dealing with the red tape.
"If we are to succeed as a nation, we need to work out ways to grow our economy without compromising our environment. I am confident these reforms achieve that balance."