David Parker is trying to sneak through changes to the Resource Management Act to remove planning powers from district councils and transfer them to unelected, unaccountable, co-governed Regional Planning Committees. This will mean higher building costs, more red tape, no local control, and more co-governance.
New Zealanders are rightly frustrated with the cumbersome Resource Management Act, which restricts how we use our land and has fuelled a serious infrastructure and housing shortage.
But the Government’s proposed reforms are not the answer. David Parker is trying to exploit anti-RMA feeling to push through a new Soviet-style central planning regime, replacing the RMA with two new laws that remove power from local councils and entrench co-governance. This is Three Waters 2.0.
First your council lost its responsibility for water infrastructure, now the Government is taking away its planning powers and handing it to one of 15 new co-governed authorities. At this rate there won’t be much left for your council to do.
For taxpayers, the proposed regime is even worse than the RMA. The legislation’s contradictory objectives and undefined Treaty obligations will open up the new authorities to constant court action. The result is higher costs and more red tape, making it harder for New Zealanders to get things done, meaning we all end up poorer.
We need to scrap Parker’s planning power grab and introduce common-sense reform that preserves democracy and rebalances the incentives for local councils in favour of productive development.
Chief Executive, Business NZ
Dame Helen Winkelmann
Chief Justice, Supreme
Court of New Zealand