Another public meeting has been called in Dunedin to explain
the possible local impact of the proposed changes to the
Resource Management Act.
Organiser Emeritus Prof Jocelyn Harris, co-chairwoman of
Sustainable Dunedin, said the group felt it was necessary to
have the Thursday evening meeting to help inform people about
what was proposed as there were significant changes hidden in
The RMA was a critical piece of legislation that helped
communities manage what was allowed to happen in both the
natural and built environment, and changes to it would affect
everyone, Prof Harris said.
Under the proposed reforms, protection given to landscapes,
biodiversity, freshwater fisheries, heritage and recreation
was likely to be reduced, she said.
The ability for concerned or affected people to take part in
RMA processes that related to them would also be reduced for
some, but increased for others.
Constructive central guidance and leadership were also
promised, but the group was greatly concerned about the
proposals to remove or override decision-making powers of
local councils and override appeals to the Environment Court.
It was felt necessary to have another public meeting to
clarify for people the more subtle of the changes proposed
and their potential effects, in the hope that more people
would be encouraged to make submissions before the April 2
Political commentator Rod Oram, Green MP Eugenie Sage and
environmental lawyer Maree Baker-Galloway will be at the
meeting to explain the potential effect of the proposed
Representatives from the Dunedin City Council, Otago Regional
Council, Fish and Game and Forest and Bird will also offer
their thoughts on the proposed changes, and respond to
The meeting will take place in the Burns Hall on Thursday,
starting at 7pm.