11 Sep 2009

Councils urged to consult hapu and iwi before using new RMA

5:59 am on 11 September 2009

The Maori Party is calling on hapu and iwi to make sure councils talk to tangata whenua before approving major developments, after its failure to win any changes in the revised Resource Management Act.

The Maori Party and the Greens voted against the legislation, which was debated under urgency before being passed by 108 votes to 13 in Parliament on Wednesday night.

As a result, party co-leader Tariana Turia told Waatea News that hapu and iwi won't be able to take their concerns to the High Court which was not included in the revised Act.

However, Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta says the changes to the RMA will be good for Maori.

She says Maori are both protectors of the environment and developers of their own resources, so they should welcome new limits on the time councils have to process consent applications.

Ms Mahuta told Waatea news that was one of the reasons Labour voted with National and ACT to pass the legislation.

The bill takes effect on 1 October.