Monday, July 30, 2012

Undermining the RMA

Not content with perverting the RMA by writing development into its purposes, National is now talking about cutting people out of all significant RMA decisions:

The Government is looking at ways of speeding up approvals for big mining projects because endless court action is "frustrating" companies and costing them millions.

The Ministry for the Environment is investigating new laws which would allow granting of resource consents for "regionally significant" projects to be accelerated.

So who will decide what is "regionally significant"? You'd think it would be up to regions, but National wants to put that decision in the hands of central government. The upshot will be that almost all large projects go straight to the Minister for a decision, massively magnifying the potential for corruption (and oh look! National has just raised the disclosure limit on electoral donations, so we'll never see the quid pro quo). Meanwhile, the RMA will become a law which only applies to "little people". If you want to put up a tall fence, you'll need consent from the council. but if you're rich enough to grease the plam of the Minister, it will be a whole different story.

And again, I'm hearing that piggy little cackle behind Heatley's voice. Muldoon may be dead and buried, but his undemocratic authoritarian centralising tendencies are alive and well in the modern National Party.