Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Working as designed

The value of the RMA has been proven by today's decision in the Environment Court forbidding development at Cape Kidnappers. The purpose of the RMA is to grant local communities control over their destiny, while protecting environmental values and natural features of significance. The local council had ignored both these principles, stiching up a deal with the developer and a local iwi to effectively despoil an outstanding natural feature. Fortunately, the Environment Court has pulled them back into line.

No doubt there will be another outbreak of whinging about the RMA over this decision, but its difficult to have any sympathy in this case. This was no issue of national significance; rather it is simply a case of a selfish developer under the misapprehension that they could build whatever they liked whereever they liked regardless of the effects on the environment and the local community. This is precisely what the law is designed to prevent; rather than being a failure, the RMA is in fact working as designed.