Judith Collins, the Opposition’s RMA reform spokeswoman, wants the Government to consult with National before pushing ahead with any changes

Judith Collins, the Opposition’s RMA reform spokeswoman, wants the Government to consult with National before pushing ahead with any changes

National’s Resource Management Act (RMA) reform spokeswoman Judith Collins is calling on the Government to consult with the Opposition before it pushes ahead with RMA reforms.

She is also accusing Environment Minister David Parker of “shooting from the hip” after revealing plans to reverse changes to the legislation National made when it was in Government.

Speaking to Interest.co.nz, Parker says some of these changes were “absurd.”

Specifically, he cites the removal of the right for applicants and submitters to appeal discretionary resource consent decisions made by local councils.  

“They were picked as absurd by critics at the time, including developers who were, at first blush, the beneficiaries of those changes.”

He has also suggested much bigger changes to the legislation are on the way next year, including how long it takes councils to approve plans, as well as areas around national guidance.

But Collins says Parker should have done the Opposition the “courtesy” of consulting with National on areas the Government wants to change.

“If he wants to get support, it’s always best to consult and to send us through what he’s looking at.”

She says National will be taking a different approach to the Labour Opposition who, she says, made a habit of opposing “almost everything” National put forward.

“They took a very mean-spirited view about a lot of legislation. We, of course, don’t want to take that view.”

She wants to work with the Government, especially when it comes to further reforms to the RMA.

“My view is always to keep an open mind about things and to see whether or not there are unintended consequences.

“We’re always willing to support decent legislation that we think is going to help developers and the development of property, so let’s have a look to see what [Parker] is up to.”

One of National’s biggest issues with RMA reforms was getting its coalition partners across the line to support changes.

Last year, it did a deal with the Māori Party after turning down ACT and United Future's proposals for changes to the legislation. 

But Parker is confident the Government won’t have that problem when it comes to making amendments.

He says the main complaint from National’s support partners was the changes were too complex and nothing was actually being fixed.

“Some of the best things we can do the fix the RMA is stripping out some of the mistakes that were made in recent amendments.”

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And she would consult with Labour if the roles were reversed? Yeah Right! I would say that her political capital and goodwill are pretty low.

Judith is just trying for the moral high ground here. You can't agree to something now and reverse it later on. It's far more preferable to have the COL decide something unilaterally then it can be reversed later on. Politics 101.

Judith Collins and the moral high ground simply do not mix.

I had high hopes for Judith as the 'attack dog', but I think the Crusher moniker oversold her ability to cut through the spin and be truly biting in her commentary. When I watch her and Twatford on the AM Show, I'm not sure if they actually dislike each other or have a playground flirt thing going on. Sorry if that generates any mental images requiring professional help.

Attack dog? More like paper tiger. Have thought that for a long time, all bluff and blunder from a safe distance.

Blunderbus looking for a shoulder?

Moral anywhere/thing

Cannot recall any identity in the last National government consulting with anybody, apart from of course, their cronies in the big corporate business world. For instance Mr Brownlee would have needed to consult, one would imagine, at quite some length with the hierarchy at Fletchers over the set up and mission of the EQC repair program in Canterbury. There is though quite a few variations on the meaning of the word consult.

National consulted all the time. The last government was a 4 party coalition. They consulted their coalition partners all the time as they could not pass any legislation on their own.

Thank heavens for that as MMP ensures that unlike in the FPP days, a party which got a minority of votes cannot pass extreme legislation. Instead through consultation with other parties that together represent a majority of voters we get better rounded legislation that is less likely to be reversed when the government changes.

Does anyone know if there is a raspberry emoji?

You can do one with just your keyboard:


Does Judith Collins know anything about the RMA?

Isn't she too busy standing in front of the mirror saying "What can I do to get to the top of National today?"

RMA? Rampant Materialistic Ambition? Say no more.

No actually i think it stands for the Resource Management Act. Which is there to stop cow poo from clogging up every waterway from here to Stewart Island.

Really? Wow! A minutes silence for the death of satire.

The Opposition do seem to be having trouble opposing. They really dented their credentials on environmental issues when last in government (here's looking at you, Nick Smith), such that Judith knows this type of 'we're here to be constructive' line needs promotion. She/they simply can't oppose what are likely to be good, scientifically-sound environmental initiatives.

Really Kate. Last sentence???????

Yeah really. In my opinion, National's downfall on environmental management was that they ignored good science in frequently rejecting/not implementing the PCE's recommendations on a number of subjects/topics and they ignored the consensus recommendations of the Land and Water Forum on water quality standards which were based on scientific advice/evidence.

Judith's comments reflect that understanding in hindsight.