National will repeal RMA 2.0 bills

The next National government will repeal Labour’s RMA replacement Bills by Christmas 2023, National’s RMA Reform and Urban Development spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“The RMA is broken, but any reform of the RMA must actually improve things and be worth the considerable cost of change.

“The Natural and Built Environment and the Spatial Planning Bills were reported back from Parliament’s Environment Committee today.

“The clear feedback on the Government’s bills is that they will make it harder to get things done, will not improve the environment and will actually be worse than what we have got now.

“Environment Minister David Parker sees RMA reform as his legacy, but after five and a half years, it is deeply depressing that this is the best he can come up with.

“The new bills will increase bureaucracy, significantly increase legal complexity and litigation, remove local decision-making, and put our decarbonisation goals at risk. New Zealand simply cannot afford the extensive litigation that the bills will inevitably produce.

“The Government should have heeded the calls from the many submitters to the select committee to slow down and start again, but they have refused to listen.

“It looks like the Government will try and ram these massive bills through Parliament before the election.  National is committing today to repealing them as soon as possible after the election, to wipe them from the statute books so the next National-led government can make a fresh start on substantive RMA Reform.

“National will campaign on our own changes to the RMA, some of which we have already announced, including one year consenting for major infrastructure and renewable energy projects, alongside our ‘Going for Housing Growth’ plan. If elected, we will legislate for these in our first term in government.

“We will also begin work on a longer-term programme to repeal and replace the RMA.”