Environment Minister hopes RMA reform will help fix the housing crisis

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 10 Feb 2021, 6:17PM
Environment Minister David Parker. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Environment Minister David Parker. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Environment Minister hopes RMA reform will help fix the housing crisis

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 10 Feb 2021, 6:17PM

The Government has committed to scrap and replace our Resource Management Act - with three separate acts being introduced to fill the void. 

A core Natural and Built Environment Act will focus on land use and environmental regulation.

The Strategic Planning Act will pull together laws around development.

And the Climate Change Adaptation Act's focus is managing and funding retreat from coastal areas.

The reform hopes to provide some relief to the country's ongoing housing crisis. 

Environment Minister David Parker told Heather du Plessis-Allan that the country is building more houses than the 1970s and there are more apprentices - but something more longer term is needed.

"This will be more important at protecting natural values while stopping some of the NIMBYism that prevents natural intensification in big cities and at the margins."

He says the rules will have more of a focus on natural outcomes rather than subjective matters of taste such as amenity. 

Parker says it will greatly reduce the number of plans - down to 14 from 100 - and will free up more land in urban areas.

He is confident that the reform will contribute to change in house prices. 

National says there needs to be more urgency to tackle the housing and climate crisis, as the first chunks of legislation aren't expected to pass into law until next year.

Environment spokesperson Scott Simpson's lamenting the time it will take - and says Labour's heading down the wrong path.

"For a Government that speaks such a big game on the environmentally need for change, this is slow, complicated and confusing."

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