Radical changes in RMA shake-up

BY TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 00:05 03/02/2009

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A shake-up of the Resource Management Act is intended to help push-start new businesses and fast-track big infrastructure projects under changes to be unveiled today.

But some of the changes are likely to be controversial, including new limits on the right to appeal.

Prime Minister John Key said the rewrite of the act, touted as its most comprehensive overhaul since it became law in 1991, would make it "a lot easier" for the private sector to start new projects.

Proposed changes are expected to include a crackdown on vexatious or frivolous objections and a stop to businesses using the act to frustrate their rivals by slowing down new developments.

Mr Key said the changes would be broader than National initially planned, after officials worked over the Christmas break on the package.

They include steeper fines and streamlining the local body resource consent process.

The rewrite took on new urgency with the Government's plans to bring forward big infrastructure projects to help kick-start the economy in the threat of a prolonged recession.

The Government is due to announce soon which infrastructure projects will be brought forward. They are likely to include more spending on roads, housing and internet broadband.

 

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