Four theories put forward for Mr Sutton's RMA outburst.

  • Simon Upton

Environment Minister Simon Upton today responded swiftly to a sudden outburst on the RMA by Labour's Agriculture spokesman, Jim Sutton. "It was like some atavistic eruption from the past".

At least four theories have been advanced:

  1. Mr Sutton's outburst is indeed a subtle way of registering a cry of anguish that Labour should have handed environmental policy to Dianne Yates, whose knowledge of the Resource Management Act is minimal and who's experience of living is limited to the university common room.
  2. Mr Sutton's outburst is an attempt to draw attention away from Labour's absurd policy of funding community groups to take objections to the Environment Court. This would pour kerosene onto the fire of litigation and delay, and has been widely condemned by interest groups such as Federated Farmers.
  3. Mr Sutton's outburst is a smokescreen to hide the fact that it is generally left-wing fanatics on councils who are responsible for the nuttier rules that some of them have promulgated. These Labour councillors are practising on local ratepayers what they intend to carry further into Parliament.
  4. Like some prize bull, Mr Sutton is ritually paraded by the Labour Party in provincial centres as its sole link with grass roots values. This theory links to theory one above - he would never be allowed near environmental policy in a Labour government.

Simon Upton welcomes further theories to explain this eruption from a clearly troubled Opposition member, who has already lost his battles on the West Coast Accord and is clearly in a minority of one in the Labour Caucus when it comes to environmental regulation.