'Promise. Win. Fail. Apologise': David Seymour rips into National's 'failure' in Government

  • 16/08/2018

"Promise. Win. Fail. Apologise."

This is David Seymour's damning indictment of the National Party, which he accuses of failing to pass right-wing reform during its time in power.

On Thursday, National Party leader Simon Bridges expressed regret at his party's failure to reform the Resource Management Act (RMA), and said it was getting a new RMA reform bill ready.

"The reality is, we should have [reformed the RMA] in the first term," Mr Bridges said, blaming later support partners for failing to allow changes to be passed.

"The reality is though, by second and third terms we were reliant on partners whether it was the Māori Party, whether it was Peter Dunne - they weren't up for changes there."

However ACT Party leader David Seymour says he's heard similar promises before - but National has always failed to deliver.

"The first stage of the National Party's political cycle is underway as it talks a big game on Resource Management Act reform," he said, listing the opportunities National has had to change the RMA.

"They promise action in Opposition, win Government, fail to do what they said they would, and then apologise after New Zealanders boot them out.

"The four stages of the National Party political cycle are: Promise. Win. Fail. Apologise."

Mr Seymour says part of the blame of that cycle is down to National's governance style, which he claims operates "from the left" despite the party "campaigning from the right".

"Only ACT has been consistent on fundamental RMA reform. The next Government will need a stronger ACT to get National back on track," he said.

Speaking at a session at the construction industry's Constructive conference, Judith Collins, the party's RMA reform spokesperson, said her proposed reforms would "return a concept of property rights to owners of land".

"The RMA that has now become something like holy writ," she told media.

"It's a very important piece of legislation, but it needs to be pro-housing and urban development."