Resource Management Act
“New Zealand has had nearly a decade under the RMA, under planning legislation that abolishes property rights and provides no environmental protection,” says Libertarianz Environment Deregulation Spokesman Peter Cresswell. “In doing so we have ignored eight centuries of common law that protects both.”
“It is time to acknowledge the failure,” he says, “and time to resurrect common law from where it has been buried.”
Property owners are ignored at every election. Other parties – notably the Compulsion Touters of Act – occasionally pay lip service to property rights, or concede the Resource Management Act ‘has proved unwieldy and costly to implement.’ They advocate ‘reform’ ranging from the disastrous to the meaningless. Act’s proposed ‘reform’ of the RMA, for example, will exponentially expand the number of consultants feeding at the RMA trough while failing to protect property owners at all. And no other party proposes any positive solution – only more of the same – in spades! National say the RMA should just be ‘tidied up,’ and they propose ‘workshops’ around the Coromandel on how to use the RMA! And Sandra Lee, Marian Hobbs and Jeanette Fitzsimons would all like the RMA to be even more onerous – and they are well on their way to making it so.
Property owners – like Les and Bev Harrington of Great Barrier Island, who have had their lives destroyed by the Resource Management Act – would not find a solution in any ‘reforms’ proposed by any party. And neither would the many others across the country who have had their property stolen from them under this hideous law – from people who own beach-front property on which they cannot build, to those like Adrian Chisholm who have been buried under the Act. There is only one solution – ABOLISH THE RMA! Immediately!
Libertarianz says that we should go back beyond the execrable Town and Country Planning Act, and replace our appallingly invasive environmental law with the sophistication of common law – which has nearly eight hundred years of protection of property rights AND the environment to commend it.
It is from the principle – that property owners should be free to peacefully enjoy their property providing they recognise the same right in others – that the body of Common law derives.
Private property rights enshrined in law provide the best protection for both property owners and the environment. Private property sets up mirrors, in which the consequences of our behaviour is reflected back; it sets up tradable rights and easements which neighbours and others may exchange to their mutual benefits.
That Common Law experienced nearly eight centuries of success in protecting property owners and the environment – before being buried by busybody planning legislation beginning early this century – is ignored by academics, environmentalists and politicians alike, in some cases deliberately. But they ignore a long history of success.
Common Law offers the only way to truly de-politicise the environment, to protect desirable environmental values without the need for constant political agitation – to remove political meddling from property rights issues forever. Property that has had significant features voluntarily covenanted, for example, has the full protection of law for whatever environmental benefits are covenanted.
Reintroducing Common Law now would enable us to untangle the regulatory web that has been engulfing property owners in this country since the introduction of The Town Planning Act of 1926 began burying eight centuries of Common Law sense and certainty.
It offers the only way out. For property owners. And for the environment.