Ask MPs to vote against RLA Bill

If you think the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill that includes iwi participation clauses would be a disaster for New Zealand, please email your MP to ask him or her to vote against it.

The bill, which had the Mana Whakahono o Rohe / Iwi Participation Agreements inserted to get the support of the Maori Party and has its second reading this week, has a number of problems.

  1. The iwi clauses would virtually entrench co-governance and partnership obligations with some Maori into local government, creating an under-the-radar constitutional change.
  2. These sections contravene basic principles of the rule of law, they conflict with our basic democratic principles, and they are inherently racist.
  3. These sections create legal uncertainty, and precursors of such arrangements linked to the Auckland Maori Statutory Board has led to conflict and litigation.
  4. The sections weaken individual property rights, as we have seen in Auckland with the requirement for “cultural impact assessments”, and reduce the rights of councils in dealing with council property.
  5. With powerful and self-interested tribal bodies at the heart of resource management, as prescribed by the iwi participation arrangements, iwi would become one of the potentially venal interests that the system should guard against.
  6. The proposed sections would give tribal bodies critical advantages of exclusive prior notice, as well as direct input and discussion, while nothing is proposed to protect non-iwi citizens against the abuse of these privileges.

References to the iwi participation clauses appear in 13 (new section 32 (4A)); 16 (new section 34 (1A)); 38 (new subpart 2 on iwi participation arrangements) as well as other references to such arrangements; 125 (new section 95B); and Schedule 1 new clauses1A, 4A, 5A (8)(e), 74.

One of the key drivers to this review of the Resource Management Act was to deliver a reduction in the bureaucracy and costs associated with development of land and effective use of resources.

At a time where housing is such a critical issue for all New Zealanders, these clauses will achieve exactly the opposite of what was intended in RMA reform by slowing the process, complicating the decision making and increasing cost.

Please email or phone your MP irrespective of political party to ask him or her to vote against the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill.

See for email contact details.