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National Maori Authority welcomes first round of legislative changes to the Resource Management Act

National Maori Authority welcomes the first round of legislative changes to the Resource Management Act

The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has welcomed the release into the public domain of the first round of draft legislation that will ultimately replace the Resource Management Act. The first of these will be the Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA) and the exposure draft will now be open to public consultation. Matthew Tukaki has long held that the days of the RMA needed to be numbered and a clearer set of legislation needed to be introduced that also saw the protection and embedding of Maori interests and rights:

“For the last three years I and many others have said the RMA is complex and complicated and does little to very much embed Maori interests rights more so it has been used to recognise but not act on those rights and interests.” Tukaki said

“In this particular round of legislation decision-makers would be required to "give effect to" the principles of Te Tiriti, replacing the current RMA requirement to "take into account" those principles. Compared to the RMA's current Treaty clause, those with powers and functions under the NBA would have a "stronger duty" to give effect to the principles of Te Tiriti and that has to be a good start. The ideal is that through this process we will see that further enhanced as more Maori voices of communities, hapu and iwi come to the fore. At the moment there have been a small number of voices sitting at the table and this now opens it up.” Tukaki said

“Having spoken with the Minister on a number of occasions the embedding of Maori interests and rights also needs to extend to a better understanding of property rights and proprietary rights as well – and lets not forget as we go through this process we need to also give effect to the outstanding Waitangi Tribunal Claim 262 – the Taonga claim” Tukaki said

“I say to our whanau wherever you are to ensure your voice is heard during this process – in other words lets throw open the doors and windows of the whare and let our people be heard on this very important Kaupapa. And to the Minister, thank you for being open and transparent about what and how this is now going to unfold.” Tukaki said

The next bills that are due for release in exposure drafts include:

  • Strategic Planning Act (SPA)

  • Climate Adaptation Act (CAA)


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