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Wednesday, 5 September 2007


The processing of resource consents is a national disgrace. Consents that should breeze through are too often forced into huge expenditures of time, energy and money. Ones that should be rejected out of hand can breeze through with mysterious ease. The Resource Management Act is often blamed, but it is not at fault. It is the administration of the Act. Incompetent, careless, power-mad bureaucrats are the problem. There can be huge penalties for applicants who breach the RMA, but there are none for bad administrators. So their hubris continues to mess up people's lives and the New Zealand environment.

Therefore the litmus test for the new Community Board--for any Community Board--is whether it succeeds in shifting that power from bureaucracy to democracy. It is the democratically elected representative of the people of Waiheke, bound by a solemn statutory promise to act to the best of its judgement and ability in their best interests. So it must control the resource-consent process. The bureaucrats have failed their trust, they have abused their trust, they cannot be permitted to continue with it. Democracy must rule. If the Board fails to seize control it will have failed to be what it is meant to be, what it is bound to be, what in conscience and natural justice it should be.