Forest and Bird unhappy with Government's plan to fast-track RMA reforms

Forest and Bird is not happy with the Government's plan to fast-track some reforms of the Resource Management Act (RMA).

It's labelling them anti-nature and undemocratic.

The group was given just 12 days to submit feedback on fast-tracking consents for key infrastructure projects.

And a meeting with officials to question it was cancelled at the last minute.

Forest and Bird spokesperson Richard Capie is a staunch advocate for the environment.

And he is vehemently against the Government's plan to fast-track the consenting process for infrastructure and developments.

"This is really anti-nature, anti-environment and anti-democratic," he said.

The plan is part of the coalition's 100-day plan and would speed up local, regional and national development projects deemed significant by the Government.

And this has groups like Forest and Bird worried about the environmental impact.

"These are projects like mining on conservation land, fish farms in already damaged oceans, large-scale irrigation schemes," Capie told Newshub.

But the Minister responsible for RMA reform said it's about cutting the red tape.

"This is about making it easier for Kiwis to build infrastructure and other projects that will help grow the economy," RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop said.

The Minister sent a letter to Forest and Bird last Wednesday, giving them just 12 days to submit feedback on the plan.

"You don't give New Zealanders 12 days to have a say on something as fundamentally important to our environment and communities as changes to the Resource Management Act," Capie said.

The environmental group was set to meet with officials on Friday, but that was cancelled.

"It was pulled last night so we've now got three days in the Minister's words to have meaningful input into the Bill," Capie said.

Labour is slamming the lack of consultation.

"It's a real centralization which is the opposite of localization which they campaigned on, and so we don't know what the environmental effects will be," Labour's environment spokesperson Rachel Brooking said.

"It'll go to a select committee so there will be plenty of opportunity for Forest and Bird and lots of other people to have their say," Bishop countered.

Forest and Bird's meeting with officials to raise its concerns will now happen next week - but by then the deadline for submissions will have passed.