NZ growers left uncertain over Resource Management Act reform

More News Top Stories
NZ growers left uncertain over Resource Management Act reform

Industry body Horticulture New Zealand said efforts to slow down Resource Management Act (RMA) reform have led to an uncertain environment for the country's fruit and vegetable growers. HortNZ logo

A HortNZ release said improving environmental practice was a core priority for growers, but it feared for their futures.

"These are growers who tell us that complying with resource management issues for their businesses feels like a death by a thousand paper cuts," HortNZ president Julian Raine said.

"The announcements made by the Maori Party and Peter Dunne removing support for the reforms just show what the potential is in this country for the environment to be used as a political football."

The group urged greater collaboration between industry and councils so that the full implications of environmental policy decisions could be considered.

"Simply too much cost is generated by resource consenting for things like water takes, building new packhouses, putting in seasonal accommodation facilities and defending a host of land use restrictions targeted at preserving the ‘amenity’ created by growers and farmers, that others enjoy," Raine said.

"This affects their communities, their jobs, businesses, livelihoods and the viability of safe local food supply at a reasonable cost.

"Right now, the law does not require them to do this and we are seeing growers leave the industry demoralised and beaten by the way the law does not support them."

The release said some growers spent "hundreds of thousands" of dollars on resource consents before they were granted, while others simply did not even try due to the experience of their peers.



Subscribe to our newsletter