Federated Farmers 'slamming' reformed RMA replacement bill
Rural News
Rural News

Federated Farmers 'slamming' reformed RMA replacement bill

Federated Farmers are slamming the Government’s decision to push its 1000-page Resource Management Act (RMA) replacement Bills through the House in the final sitting days of this Government.

The process started before Christmas at around 850 pages before the Select Committee added an additional 150 odd pages after the Christmas/New Year consultation period.

RMA reform spokesperson Mark Hooper told REX host Dominic George he is disappointed with the way the bill has been formed especially considering the current RMA was brought in in 1991, 32 years ago.

"We don't really feel that this legislation, given the importance of it, has really had the opportunity to be discussed in the way that it should," he said.

"We had that consultation period over the Christmas/New Year period which was really insufficient for a really good analysis of what's once-in-a-generation legislative change. 

Hooper also raised concerns about the fact that local communities are being stripped of their ability to democratic decision-making with that right passed off to new Regional Planning Committees.

"The changes at the Select Committee level, they weren't exposed to any sort of public consultation process, so therein lies another problem."

In a recent press release, Hooper described the replacement bill as "a nightmare for farmers and rural communities that will add nothing but cost and complexity to their lives".

He explained that rural Kiwis are already facing a number of issues across the board when it comes to resource management and that the reformed RMA doesn't appear to solve many of those existing problems.

"What we were looking for in an RMA reform process was something that was going to improve the current situation.

"The fundamental problem is that what has been passed, doesn't rectify any of those problems."

The fact that RMA is already a complicated topic to understand for those within the sector, let alone the general public, Hooper was further discouraged to see that the reformed bill seemed to have only added further complications.

"We've also got the introduction of a whole lot of new vague and unclear terms and concepts which are going to create more uncertainty and slow down progress.

"We feel that the fundamental problems that we have, just haven't been addressed, if anything they have been added to and made more complex."

Listen to the full chat between Federated Farmers RMA reform Spokesperson Mark Hooper and Dominic George above.

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