RMA strengthens kaitiakitanga

Maori Party co-leaders Marama Fox and Te Ururoa Flavell are praising changes to the RMA which will benefit Maori. File photo.

The Māori Party says gains they will secure around the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill (RLAB) will strengthen kaitiakitanga for iwi and the protection of the environment, while balancing the nation's economic needs.

Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says they have reached agreement with the Government on the legislation, and will be supporting the Bill through its remaining stages.

“We have identified key areas in the Bill as a priority and have negotiated amendments to the RMA which strike a balance between environmental protection and development,” says Te Ururoa.

Arrangements have been made for tangata whenua participation in RMA decisions through iwi authorities and councils.

Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox says there are also other proposed amendments that will enhance the participation of iwi as kaitiaki of natural resources within their rohe.

“Iwi have a role as kaitiaki of our natural resources based on the spiritual and cultural relationship they have always had with the environment,” she says.

“Māori therefore must be given a crucial role in the management of these resources including our rivers, mountains and national parks. It is our responsibility and right to protect, restore and enhance the environment.”

The mechanism proposed to achieve kaitiakitanga in the new Bill is through Mana Whakahono ā Rohe Agreements.

“The principles underpinning mana whakahono agreements will ensure both iwi and councils have a mutually agreed understanding of how iwi will be involved and what is required of iwi and councils,” says Te Ururoa.

“This will also support wider stakeholders understanding of why, how and when they are required to engage with iwi.”

Some aspects of the agreements include:

  •   •  Pulling back the regulation-making powers of the Minister under Section 360D so communties can have their say

  •   •  Collaborative planning process  to encourage greater public engagement and solutions

  •   •  Strengthening of requirements to manage natural hazard risks

  •   •  New provisions to enable stock exclusion from waterways

  •   •  Planning processes to reduce costs and delays in the process whilst still protecting the environment

  •   •  The enabling of appeals on merit where there is no consensus in the Collaborative Planning Process

  •   •  Environment Court judge as part of the review panel to hear submissions under the Collaborative Planning Process

  •   •  Appeals possible on merit, if a council deviates from the recommendations of the Review Panel otherwise on points of law

  •   •  The removal of the majority of the proposed restrictions on the involvement in applications that are limited notified

  •   •  Submission strikeouts to be discretionary rather than mandatory,

  •   •  The removal of alternative consenting authorities.

“Mana Whakahono a Rohe agreements go beyond anything that currently exists for Māori outside of a Treaty Settlement. This Bill gives iwi a chance to engage like they haven't been able to do before.

“What we have to remember is the content of Mana Whakahono agreement are to be negotiated between council and iwi they are not prescribed.”

Marama says the Māori Party know many of the homeless in those communities are our people.

“So we have been putting in place better collaborative agreements to reduce pressure on councils and improve the decisions made at a local level. This is why Mana Whakahono is important.

“However this should not be at the detriment to this country's natural and cultural taonga. The Māori Party is confident the changes advocated for in the RMA amendments better balance development and kaitiakitanga.

“What this shows is the Māori Party cares about the environment, we are the voice of reason and we can work with any party to achieve a good outcome for Māori and all of New Zealand.”



6 Comments

Will Not Benefit Maori

Posted on 14-11-2016 16:37 | By Jitter

The leaders of the Maori party state this legislation "will benefit Maori". Rubbish ! It will benefit some "Maori" but only those once again at the top of the heap. And only if money changes hands.

RMA and the National Government

Posted on 13-11-2016 22:51 | By Noel Silver

The RMA is a "dinosaur" in todays world and continues to stifle growth, adds heaps of time and cost to any development process, for very little benefit, and now instead of a proper rewrite of this legislation to make it more relevant to the countries needs for the future, National involve the 15% club as another "soft soap" to their so called coalition partner. More costs and delays is all this mob will be sure to achieve. By Noel

Additional Cost In General

Posted on 13-11-2016 19:46 | By Jitter

How much extra cost will it add to the cost of major developments and individual houses. It is certainly not going to help those people who need houses and cannot afford them now. I can see developers saying stuff this it is far too expensive to develop this land. We all know there will be extra cost involved. I agree that this is an additional race based privelege to a minority group. Every time the government agrees to hand this sort of power over to the same ethnic minority they are making NZ into a more racist and separatist country. Next year National should get a nasty fright in the General Election if enough people are fed up with their continued handing of extra priveleges to Maori on a plate just to keep the Maori Party Support in Parliament.

Unbelievable...

Posted on 13-11-2016 16:55 | By Kenworthlogger

Do Maori think they are the only ones to have a spiritual and cultural relationship wih the environment? Everybody does lol. Why do Maori think they are more special than non Maori. That is blatent racesim!

RMA

Posted on 13-11-2016 11:32 | By Denny G

The "Silent Majority " will need to be alert to this legislation. How much extra cost will this add to environmental issues ?

more race based privilege for maori

Posted on 13-11-2016 11:08 | By Captain Sensible

Yet again, the Nats give the middle finger salute to our democracy by giving more race based privileges to .....well we all know the answer to that one!

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