|Resource Management Amendment Bill - RMA Changes: When will they apply?|
|Library Archive - Centre Digests|
Page 4 of 5
Item 4: The Purpose of the Bill is being Undermined by its own Benefits
Many of the proposed amendments would be justified during even the best of times. But there can be no doubt that the urgency with which Government has moved to implement this programme has been largely driven by:
- the need to remove disincentives to private investment, and
- to enable Governments own plans to bring forward infrastructure projects, and
- to generally enable its stimulus package, and
- to generally enable the economy "to build itself out of recession".
The Centre is now receiving calls from friends and colleagues seeking advise as to whether to proceed to file an application under the present regime or to wait until the amended Act is in place so that decisions will be made under the amended legislation, rather than under the RMA as it stands.
For example, having watched the numerous projects delayed for years over legal actions over the decision to notify they find the proposed amendment which makes non-notification the default position highly attractive.
In many cases we have to recommend that proposals be deferred until we can be certain that the amended conditions will apply if the application is heard before a Hearings Committee or the Environment Court.
Now many of these applications may well have survived even under the present law. But a sensible risk analysis now favours delay.
So we have a truly perverse outcome. Amendments designed to encourage investment and to end unnecessary delay are actually discouraging investment in the immediate future and increasing delays.
While we are normally opposed to retrospective legislation these are special times which demand special responses.
The proposed Bill has many clauses that dictate when the different parts of the Act take effect including the normal transitional clauses.
It seems that we need to tip the balance to encourage investors to file their applications now with the comfort of knowing that if after a couple of years they appear before the Environment Court, the court will base its decisions on the RMA as it has been amended by that date rather than the date on which they filed.
We seek your assistance in framing suitable "transitional clause" or "clauses".
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 March 2009 17:21 )|