GE-Free NZ is asking the Local Government and Environment Select Committee to review the new amendments in the Resource Legislation Amendments Bill which effectively create a new power structure by stealth.
The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill directly destroys the existing Resource Management Act (RMA) by removing the right of councils to manage and protect their regions. The Bill places undue power with the Minister of the day and the Environmental Protection Agency whose ability to respond to regional conditions is limited.
ďBy dismantling key pillars of the RMA the proposed Bill will hamstring councils and prevent them from carrying out their responsibilities under the existing Act, namely to protect and avoid negative effects on their environment and communitiesĒ, said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ.
ďThis will affect everyone. How our environment is protected, how local businesses protect their livelihoods, how we interact with our councils, how central government and corporate policies will affect our communitiesĒ.
The updated added wording to the proposed Bill borders on a clear and intentional subversion of of New Zealand's democratic principles. Consultation with cabinet or across the parliamentary parties on council decisions no longer has to be conducted, and can be carried by the Minister in charge.
The proposed Bill empowers the Minister alone to change legislation, without consulting cabinet or parliament, interfering and overriding another jurisdictions due process. It creates a fascist power structure behind the guise of strengthening regulations in the current RMA.
The Minister is being given sweeping powers to dictate law to the regions across a wide range of issues that opens serious risks of arbitrary and anti-democratic outcomes. These powers seriously affect the communitiesí ability to participate and provide for their wellbeing.
Public submissions close on the 14 March.
Jon Carapiet 0210507681
Claire Bleakley 027 348 6731