Latest from the Beehive
What have the pollies been up to over the past few days?
Our morning check with the Beehive website drew a blank. Nothing had been posted since August 21.
This website boasts being the best place to find Government initiatives, policies and Ministerial information.
Continue reading “Beehive breaks its silence with news about old tyres”
Latest from the Beehive
Before Point of Order had wrapped up the previous bulletin, the busy bees in the Beehive were releasing the most comprehensive review of New Zealand’s resource management system since the Resource Management Act (RMA) was enacted in 1991.
At much the same time, the Government was signalling its intention to introduce legislation to allow it to recover some of the costs for managed isolation and quarantine.
This isolation measure is something of a rarity in the run-up to the election – it will result in the Government collecting money rather than borrowing to give it away in billions.
The RMA review is reported in New Directions for Resource Management in New Zealand, commissioned by Environment Minister David Parker and prepared by an independent review panel led by retired Court of Appeal Judge Tony Randerson QC.
Among its recommendations is the replacement of the existing RMA by two separate pieces of legislation, a Natural and Built Environments Act and a Strategic Planning Act. Continue reading “At long last, the vexing RMA is bound for the dustbin – but we are not being rushed to bring in replacement legislation”
Latest from the Beehive –
Nine press releases (when we checked this morning) had flowed from the Beehive since we last reported. Eight of them brayed about the money Ministers have been spending and (as they prefer to put it) investing.
The sole exception came from Environment Minister David Parker, who provided a progress report on the passage of “the law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects”.
But without putting a dollar sign on it, Parker did have more good news for Queenstown (where the government has been pouring millions of dollars).
His statement advised that the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Bill, crafted to support and accelerate the government’s investment in infrastructure, environment and development projects while maintaining environmental and Treaty safeguards, has passed its second and third readings in the House.
He mentioned that Part 2 of the Resource Management Act, including the recognition of matters of national importance, will continue to apply and reference to it is being strengthened.
The Queenstown Arterials Project has been added to the 11 named projects originally listed in the Bill. Continue reading “Five Jones announcements bring good news (and millions of dollars) to the provinces – but other Ministers are spending, too”
As from tomorrow NZ will be staring goggle-eyed at a budget deficit, the size of which it has never seen before.
That deficit will signal the depth of the economic pain being inflicted on the country by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The burden will have to be carried not only by this generation but the next and probably the one after that.
So would the government welcome anything that might ease the burden? An oil or gas discovery, perhaps? Continue reading “Why climate change zealots should join the champions of NZ oil and gas exploration”
The government is to short-circuit the unwieldy and time-wasting Resource Management Act to fast-track projects it likes to call “shovel-ready” as a major element of its plan to get the economy up and running again.
Environment Minister David Parker says:
“We went hard and early to beat the virus and now we’re doing the same to get the economy moving too. The success of our health response gives us a head start on the world to get our economy moving again and this fast tracking process will allow our economic recovery to accelerate”
In effect the government is recognising the RMA legislation is obsolescent, a block to economic progress. As ACT’s David Seymour pointed out, the 900-page RMA is the single biggest impediment to progress, and to housing affordability in particular.
In accepting that the consenting and approval processes previously used don’t provide the speed and certainty needed now in response to the economic fallout from COVID-19, Parker says environmental safeguards remain. The resource consent applications for these projects will be processed by an Expert Consenting Panel.
But this is the telling line in Parker’s announcement: Continue reading “A fast-track environmental test to short-circuit the RMA is welcome but fast-track projects should pass a business test, too”
Environment Minister David Parker has directed officials to find ways to fast-track consents for infrastructure and development projects. He says his goal is to help create a pipeline of projects so that some can start immediately once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted “so people can get back into work as fast as possible”.
Parker sees the Covid-19 pandemic as a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact on almost every part of the economy for some time.
He recognises many New Zealanders have lost their jobs, or may do so in coming months, and many businesses are doing it hard.
“These are extraordinary times that need extraordinary solutions. We need to support NZers through this crisis, and position our economy for recovery”.
His aim is to short-circuit the standard Resource Management Act consenting processes and he wants Cabinet to put its stamp of approval on how to do that before the end of the lockdown period. Continue reading “Parker’s readiness to relax the RMA rules should be extended to freshwater constraints on farmers”