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Environment Minister Amy Adams today released an independent report which considered changes to sections 6 and 7 of the Resource Management Act to address, among other things, management of natural hazards.
“After the Canterbury earthquakes, it became clear that consents for subdivisions had been granted without any consideration of the risk of liquefaction,” Ms Adams says.
“The problem was that the RMA did not, and still does not, require these sorts of risks to be assessed and managed.
“Instead, the RMA prioritises preserving natural character, landscape, flora and fauna, public access, cultural values and heritage over managing natural hazards.”
The Government asked an independent technical advisory group to provide advice on whether the RMA should be amended to give greater consideration to emerging issues like natural hazards, and urban and infrastructure development.
The report proposes that changes be made to the principles in sections 6 and 7 of the RMA to bring managing natural hazards and urban and infrastructure
into the list of things that should be considered when Councils grant resource consents.
It also says that none of these matters should be more important than another, and proposes changes to the structure of the RMA to make this clearer.
“The report represents the independent views of those on the advisory group, and the Government will consider the recommendations as part of our wider reforms of the resource management system.
“A key consideration for the Government in thinking about any changes to the resource management system is to achieve enduring outcomes while reducing the time, costs and uncertainties involved in the process.”
The report is available on the Environment Ministry’s website - http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/tag-rma-section6-7/index.html