Both David Farrar at Kiwiblog and Steve Pierson at The Standard have blogged on the Sunday Star-Times article on National’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act, taking, as expected, somewhat different lines on it.
I’m not sure either of them have quite seen the significance of what Nick Smith is reported by the SS-T as saying:
Expect radical changes to planning processes, Smith said, but without changing the environmental purposes of the act. There had been concern among environmental groups that National was going to change those and bring a “stronger development flavour” into the act. It was not doing so.
Now, that’s not (as Steve Pierson suggests) just staying silent – it is Nick Smith saying something that directly contradicts National’s policy going into the election. That policy reads:
The definition of environment is too broad, which allows costly and time-consuming arguments over irrelevant issues. … National will simplify the Act by limiting the definition of environment to natural and physical resources…
David Farrar, for his part, conveniently ignores the National pre-election policy and quotes Smith’s “no change to the environmental purposes” from the S S-T article.
Don’t get me wrong, this was one of the key policies that made the Greens decide they could not support a National-led Government on confidence and supply, so I’d love to see them backtrack from their pre-election position.
But come on David and Steve, let’s try to dig a little deeper here. The question that needs to be being asked is which course of action will National be following – that outlined in its policy pre-election, or that announced by Smith in the S S-T article?
Either way, when the Bill is introduced and we see what the Government actually proposes to do, Nick Smith will have some questions to answer.