RMA pushed aside

The Environment Minister David Parker says a new act, due to be passed in June, will put the decisions over what future projects will be built in the hands of small panels of ‘experts’, chaired by an Environment Court judge.

Parker says transport, environmental ‘benefits’, and housing will be prioritised under the plan.

These changes were approved towards the end of April and will push aside part one of the RMA, while part two concerning environmental safeguards will remain.

“The new processes will get projects started sooner and people into jobs faster,” he says.

“Investment in infrastructure is central to the Government’s economic plan to keep New Zealanders in jobs.”

His announcement was made as the Government has yet to identify new projects that could begin sooner with a large injection of public money, and include major projects already signalled as part of the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade project.

Parker says suggestions from district and regional councils, as well as NGOs and the private sector, will among those new projects being considered.

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