The Maori Party and United Future have at last found the belated will power to resist National’s obvious wish to water down the RMA to suit their big time backers, the developers and bankers who are growing fat on the back of our never-ending property boom and bust market.
While the press release below offers a tiny hope that National could lose out on yet another change favouring their major supporters it may be too soon to celebrate. Last time things got tight [The Asset Sales] National found the means to force United Future into a change of heart by the use of illegally gained information to [what could be called] blackmail Peter Dunne, by connecting him and Andrea Vance.
From the Maori Party perspective this gives them all the chance to vote against the RMA changes…but we need to stay awake to the fact that many times they have used only two of their thee votes against, which has in reality meant that National would still succeed even if Peter Dunne voted against the government. I and thousands of others can only hope that the Maori Party MP’s  remain steadfast and clearly display the Mana and fortitude needed to combat the pressure that will most certainly be applied by John Key and his team of bullies. I’m sure that should they desire to achieve real change Hone Harawira would be only too willing to assist them. Below is the PR:
Māori Party, United Future: RMA changes strike a rock
Wednesday, 11 September 2013, 10:07 am
Press Release: Joint Media Statement
EMBARGOED UNTIL 10:00 am, WEDNESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2013
11 September 2013
RMA changes strike a rock
The Māori Party and United Future have decided that they cannot support the government’s latest proposed changes to the Resource Management Act, and have written to Environment Minister Amy Adams to outline their concerns.
“The changes do far more than rebalance the Act to make consenting procedures more efficient. We say the changes to remove emphasis on the ‘maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment’ fundamentally rewrite the Act and put a spanner in the works of the legal system, that will take years of litigation to fix up,” said Tariana Turia and Peter Dunne.
“The Resource Management Act was designed to ensure that our use of natural resources is sustainable. Changes to Part Two, which enshrine the driving principles, undermine the whole purpose of the Act,” said Mrs. Turia.
Te Ururoa Flavell said “Sections 6 and 7 reflect the Maori principle that people are recipients and therefore stewards of the natural environment, rather than owners. The legislation should not be dealing with proprietorship, and we understand and support tangata whenua groups who believe merging these sections will undermine their role and responsibilities as kaitiaki to maintain and enhance the quality of the environment.”
“In the 20 years since the Act was passed, the environment is in a worse state by almost every measure, and the government’s proposed changes to facilitate development will make matters worse,” said Mr Dunne. “I do not accept that commercial interests should override the environmental principles of the Resource Management Act.”
“While we both agree that there could be useful improvements made in tidying up the process issues within the legislation, the changes to Part Two will create a level of uncertainty which will be counter-productive,” Mr Dunne said.
“We have written to Minister Adams to inform her that we cannot vote in support of the legislation as it currently sits.”