RMA - Enough Already!Thursday, Nov 16, 2000
The Resource Management Act has always been seen as an intrusion on the rights of landowners to undertake
activities within their properties without the detailed approval of the community at large.
Pressure groups and single-issue proponents have been provided with a vehicle to restrict the long established
property rights of individual landowners and in most rural NZ cases family farm businesses
and also impose unnecessary costs, restrictions and frustrations in the name of the community
Government and the pressure groups have seen fit to depart from one of the principles of good government
- the protection of the rights of the individual against the demands of the community. If the
community at large wishes access to and maintenance of a resource, whether geological, ecological
or visual then it must be willing to pay the real costs of that benefit.
It seems ironical that the state in the form of DOC can recover costs from tourists, trampers and climbers
for the maintenance of the states parklands but it has not seen fit to provide similar resources
for individual landowners operating under the RMA and the growing expectations of a remote urban
community seeking lifestyle ahead of commerce from the rural landscape.
The Huranui farmers who are denying local government access to their properties are expressing the concern
of many farmers - enough already! The inequities the Act is now supporting must be addressed.
Farmers I believe readily accepted and implemented the original key principles of the RMA that ensured
that pollution and contamination of air and water by on farm activities do not escape across boundaries
and to this extent the RMA has been successful. However with the passing of time, the advent
of "no cost- no responsibility" pressure groups and officious bureaucrats the RMA is running a
devastating course for individual landowners.
Protection of the property rights of individuals must be equally met under the RMA and its time for
the politicians to revisit this act to put right this omission in the current Resource Management