The earlier article A short history of regional government in NZ contained musings about whether there might be clues in the history of regional government in New Zealand that help explain the predicament that Environment Canterbury (ECan) now finds itself in. The article failed to answer this question, but promised a future article to explore this question further. An examination of our more recent history reveals that this – at least in part, may be a product of an increasingly challenging environmental landscape outgrowing the RMA model of regional council focused on end-of-pipe, point-source pollution. Continue reading
Following on from his earlier contribution, Two decades of environmental policy – then and now, former Ministry for the Environment Deputy Secretary Lindsay Gow also shared his thoughts on the efficacy of the Resource Management Act since it was enacted in 1991, and on what tasks remain to be tackled in the area of environmental policy:
The Resource Management Act has been with us for nearly twenty years. It was one of my biggest jobs. I consider that, on balance, it has worked successfully. It’s interesting to hear both pro and anti development people referring to the RMA as a legitimate means of making difficult resource decisions.
The RMA’s central notion of integrated resource management was ahead of its time in 1990. Thanks to the establishment of regional authorities administering it on a whole catchment basis, the RMA has delivered some notable results. Continue reading