Written by Judy Turner, UnitedFuture Deputy Party Leader
Over the last 18 months I have been part of a team, delegated to pull together a new District Plan for our District.
It has given me the chance to consider first-hand, the impact of the Resource Management Act (RMA) on the way we use our finite natural resources to drive economic well-being, to protect recreational interests, to protect the health and wellbeing of indigenous flora and fauna, air and fresh-water water quality and our coastal environment.
It has forced me to look at the dynamics of our built and urban spaces and consider how we protect those special and historical sites from inappropriate development, how we steer development away from areas where natural disasters are likely.
We have spent literally hundreds of hours reading and listening to submissions from individuals and interest groups followed by hundreds of hours deliberating to determine how best to have a plan that both enables and protects.
The irony is that everyone hates having conditions placed on their use of their land, but want neighbours blocked from doing anything that would have long-term negative effects.
So those of us, who perhaps foolishly put up our hands to do this sort of work, quickly discover that there is a tension to be managed in applying the RMA to everyday New Zealanders lives. How do we build now in such a way as to protect where we live for our grandchildren, our great grandchildren?
I agree that some of the processes for getting resource consent could be streamlined; our prosperity should never be paid for by future generations.