Green co-leader Metiria Turei has spoken up about National’s proposed Resource Management Act reforms, expressing concerns that ‘people’ and ‘neighbours’ won’t get to have their say adequately.
The Green Party has criticised proposed changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA), saying the overhaul would leave many people out of the consultation loop.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says the changes will leave too many people without the means to voice their opinion on changes in their neighbourhoods.
“The major part [of the legislation] will be locking people out of consultation and having a say,” Ms Turei told the Paul Henry programme this morning.
She says even under the current laws, only a relatively small number of people are actually involved in the process.
“More than 90 percent of the consents that are issued under the RMA are not notified, there’s only a really small proportion where people get a chance to have a say about what happens in their neighbourhood and we think their right to have a say should be protected.
“There are people who are affected by the decisions that other people make, they should have the right to say [something] about that.”
“We’re talking about people’s neighbourhoods; there are big issues in Auckland at the moment about the nature of development in Auckland City – should Aucklanders be locked out of having a say about what happens in their city?”
Turei seems to be confusing two things – people having their say (there’s many ways they can do that) and potentially bogging down RMA applications because some people want to stop anything changing in their neighbourhood.
This is already a real problem here in Turei’s electorate of Dunedin North, where people oppose building on the other side of the harbour to where they live (and other places) because they don’t like the look of it.
And it could get worse.
The Dunedin City Council is currently proposing a ‘second generation’ district plan. A proposal in that is to designate large areas of the city above the 100 m contour as a ‘significant landscape zone’. And thatb will significantly restrict what you can do with your land if it’s above 100 m in those zones.
A lot of Dunedin is over 100 m.
I have a special interest in this because I own properties that straddle the 100 m contour.
Under the new proposals if I want to build a building larger than 60 square metres I will need resource consent.
If I want tp build a house higher than single story or with paint greater than 30% luminosity or plant particular species of trees or a number of other things I will need notified resource consent.
So neighbours and people on the other side of the harbour will be able to have their say. And if past experience is anything to go by people will oppose.
The local Green dominated council and the Green Party want everyone to be happy before anything is built, and if someone doesn’t like the look of something in the distance then they can do more than have their say – they can stop people doing normal sorts of things with their own land.
There’s a vast difference between environmental protections (important) and allowing neighbours to have their say and prevent people douing what is not out of the ordinary on their own land.
This illustrates a major problem many people have with the Greens.
Just about everyone wants to protect the environment as much as possible, so having someone sticking up for environmental issues is great.
But most people don’t want severe restrictions on what they can do with their own land and property.
And they don’t want extreme Greenies preventing them from doing fairly normal and reasonable things with their own property just because the extreme Greenies have what they want and don’t like the look of something else.