If New Zealand’s economy is to reach its potential, then it must have world-leading planning and resource consent laws.
Unfortunately, processes can drag on and, all too frequently, get bogged down. I’ve seen stalled projects, good ideas being undone, decisions being reversed and projects that have been given the final tick moving forward with no urgency.
You only need to look at the huge hold-ups at the Te Tumu development in Papamoa East, or the time it is taking to put the new road and flyover in at Bayfair to prove my point.
Many of the problems that have arisen in relation to the Resource Management Act have been about delays in the consent process, costs, consultation requirements and lack of uniformity in how local councils approach the Act.
After 19 years, the Resource Management Act clearly requires thorough revision to improve processes and procedures, reduce compliance costs, clarify expectations and responsibilities and to facilitate progress and protection.
New Zealand First strongly advocates for the streamlining of the Resource Management Act to remove many of the obstacles and frustrations which have unnecessarily become part of these processes.
But any changes must be balanced against council’s publicly developed long-terms plans and the need for continued public consultation on big projects.
I believe it is time to take a common sense approach to planning processes, in order to loosen the laces constraining development in this country.