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Council favours red tape removal

The government is trying to remove red tape to speed up recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle by amending the Resource Management Act [RMA].

Masterton District Council [MDC] has submitted in favour of changes to the RMA in the Severe Weather Emergency Legislation Bill, which could make its recovery efforts easier.

The bill would modify existing legislation in order to remove constraints on recovery, similar to legislation passed after Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes.

The bill was read by caucus for the second time on Thursday last week.

Wairarapa MP and Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty said the bill is intended to make urgent changes to assist councils and communities with the recovery in the areas that have been affected by recent weather events.

One of the councils that would benefit from the changes would be MDC.

McAnulty said when introducing the second reading that the bill will enable all councils to take immediate action to improve resilience to future weather events.

“The bill will make urgent direct amendments to the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, the Local Government Act 2002, the Resource Management Act 1991 [RMA], the Food Act 2014, and Food Regulations 2014, to provide relief to those people who are in communities affected by the severe weather.”

He said the changes would support recovery and provide authorities with the powers necessary to facilitate an efficient, timely, and effective recovery.

“In particular, the amendments will help local councils with their planning and decision making, allow for concurrent declarations of states of emergency and transition periods, and enable remote attendance at meetings.”

A report produced to support the bill included the MDC’s submission to the RMA section of the bill.

Key points raised in the submission read simply that “MDC supports [the] bill”.

MDC did not raise any matters specific to the RMA and did not recommend any changes to the bill.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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