Key: RMA Bill making progress

  • 23/09/2015
John Key (Simon Wong/3 News)
John Key (Simon Wong/3 News)

The Government's troubled RMA reform Bill could soon be introduced to Parliament.

It's been held up since the Northland by-election in March, which robbed the Government of a vote.

Before the by-election it could have got the bill through with just ACT's support, but now it needs either United Future's Peter Dunne or the Maori Party for a majority.

Mr Dunne and the Maori Party have problems with the extensive reforms the Government wanted to bring in, and they've been negotiating with Environment Minister Nick Smith.

Prime Minister John Key says he's "fairly confident" the Government has got the numbers to put the bill through its first reading.

"We're in the very early stages but it's certainly making progress and it'll be introduced relatively soon," he told reporters yesterday.

Dr Smith says he's still talking to the Government's support parties.

"I remain hopeful we'll get the Bill before Parliament this year," he said.

The problem is around proposals to change sections six and seven of the Resource Management Act, which deal with the principles of the key planning legislation.

The Government wants to give increased weighting to economic development, and the question is about how far it goes with that.

Opponents say the Bill would gut the RMA and put the environment at risk.