RMA reforms undermine communities and the environment

“Proposed changes to the Resource Management Act, announced last week by Environment Minister Amy Adams, could result in ratepayers picking up the tab for industry damaging our environment. This is highly immoral and undemocratic,” says Debbie Swanwick, Spokesperson, Soil & Health – Organic NZ.

Councils have a responsibility to ensure that ratepayers are protected against risk and liability.

“Removing this ability undermines local bodies and makes central government all powerful,” says Swanwick.

The proposed changes to Part 2 of the RMA lower environmental standards. The Resource Management Act is both a planning tool and an environmental protection mechanism.

“The reforms provide a pathway for the former compromising the later,” says Swanwick.

It has been suggested that an application for the release of GE ryegrass in New Zealand may be filed this year.

“This is of most concern with regard to the RMA reforms as the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act requires neither a bond to be paid nor compensation for immediate or future loss to the social, economical, environmental or cultural wellbeing of our communities as a result of GMOs. Should the RMA proposals become law, alongside a weak HSNO Act, ratepayers will be left to pay for what should be the responsibility of industry,” says Swanwick.

Soil & Health is one of the oldest organic organisations in the world and advocates for the consumer’s right to have fresh, healthy, organic food and water free of GE, pesticides and additives and their right to know what is in their food and water. Oranga nuku, oranga kai, oranga tangata. To learn more about what is really in your food subscribe to their Facebook PageĀ http://www.facebook.com/OrganicNZ

To view online click here www.organicnz.org.nz/node/712

ENDS

References

1) http://beehive.govt.nz/release/major-reform-resource-management-system
2) http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20130811.htm

3) http://community.scoop.co.nz/2013/08/governments-announcement-on-rma-ref…

4) http://www.3news.co.nz/Cows-fed-super-grass-could-produce-more-milk/tabi…