The government is, rightly, expecting the opposition to support it through the lockdown.
In return it ought to hold back on contentious legislation.
Instead we have this:
The Government is using Parliament’s select committee process to sneak climate change provisions into the Resource Management Act, National’s RMA spokesperson Judith Collins says.
“A recently-released report by the Environment Select Committee recommends several changes to the Resource Management Amendment Bill, including provisions for climate change considerations in RMA decisions.
“These late changes are an abuse of the select committee process because they were made after public feedback was called for, meaning submitters have not had the opportunity to properly consider the new bill.
“The climate change considerations were not in the original bill, and it appears only some of the people who submitted were aware of them.
“The amended bill also gives submitters the right to cross-examine each other during RMA applications. This would significantly increase the time and cost of hearings.
“The Government’s expert review panel is likely to recommend significant reform when it reports back in May so it makes no sense to proceed with these changes now.
“Last week, Environment Minister David Parker said he was working on ways to improve the speed and certainty of consenting. This bill will have the opposite effect.”
Could there be a worse time to add such contentious provisions to the Bill?
Now is not the time to be adding contentious, expensive and time-consuming hurdles to the RMA.
Now of all times, the government should understand the need to relook at everything that could hamper the recovery.
When the lock down is over we’ll be facing a new, and much poorer, normal. We need to be reducing red tape and simplifying regulations not adding to it and complicating them.