Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Capital commitments

I had the family in tow yesterday. They don’t often come to the Capital.

Some MPs shift their families to Wellington but when I became an MP we made a conscious decision that home was Canterbury. It means I work out of the Christchurch office most Fridays and am home on the weekends.Listen to more about life on the farm >>

We had the first official caucus catch-up of the year yesterday - an all day meeting at Premier House, the Prime Minister’s official residence.

The Prime Minister is really on top of things. He is certainly showing himself as a leader; everyone is in step.

The new Government knows what it wants to achieve. The announcement on the Resource Management Act reform covers one of the things we promised to fix at election time. We are making progress fast.

Farmers from around the country have been crying out for change for years. I know my personal experiences with the Act on Banks Peninsula have been far from satisfactory.

Changes to the Resource Management Act will simplify and streamline processes without compromising environmental protections.

These reforms have required a delicate rebalancing between the rights of people to participate in resource consent decision making, to appeal decisions, and the need for efficient decision making.

The Resource Management (Simplify & Streamline) Amendment Bill, which contains more than 100 amendments, will be introduced to Parliament later in February and referred to the Environment and Local Government Select Committee for public submission and hearings.

A further phase of reform of the RMA is planned addressing specific areas of concern covering aquaculture, the structure of the Environmental Protection Authority, fresh water management, and urban design and infrastructure issues. More on RMA reform >>

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