Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Cutting red tape"

During the election, National vowed to "cut red tape". Unfortunately, it seems they have a very funny idea of what "red tape" is:

(Image stolen from the Herald)

As the Herald points out, National's proposed RMA "reforms" would remove the ability of local authorities to protect general classes and types of trees - which will mean a chainsaw massacre of Auckland's pohutukawa by greedy developers, and a consequent affect on Auckland's amenity values. While DPF attempts to defend this with propertarian absolutism, the fact is that we have never accepted that principle in New Zealand, and that the right of local authorities to regulate what people do on their own properties to protect the rights of others and ensure a beautiful or well-designed city is widely accepted. It's why we have zoning bylaws and height restrictions, for example - both aimed at protecting the same values as general protections for trees. But then, the extremists in National and ACT probably want to do away with those as well...

Anyway, this suggests a very easy advertising campaign for the next election: "before" and "after" shots showing the effects of National's RMA changes. If they want to allow their rich developer friends to cut down trees with abandon, then they can be held politically responsible for it at the ballot box.