• Video: Resource Management Act reform is critical for Hawke's Bay and nationally, says David Seymour

Video: Resource Management Act reform is critical for Hawke's Bay and nationally, says David Seymour

Resource Management Act reform is “absolutely critical” for Hawke's Bay and nationally, says Minister of Regulation David Seymour.

Seymour told Hawke’s Bay App in a recent visit to Hawke’s Bay that the economy was facing headwinds and it was important that New Zealand focussed on “running our own race, making sure that our regulatory systems are good so people aren't spending a lot of time doing compliance they don't want to do”.

“You'll see this government properly replaced the RMA once and for all, or at least for a very long time, so that we have a law that says you can do what you want on your own property so long as you don't harm anyone else's.”

Asked what areas could be streamlined in Hawke’s Bay and nationally, Seymour said: “Look, I see many areas. I was at a school today, they've got a building, the kids are in it, they want to convert it into a classroom. They now have to get an engineering report so that kids can be in the same building. So we haven't quite got to the bottom of why that is, but we will as a result of that visit to St. Joseph's School.”

“And I hear from people here who have just had a resource consent for the Ravensdown plant. I won't tell you how much it costs them to get the consent, because that's probably sensitive to them, but I couldn't believe it, to get a resource consent to keep running a plant that's already here.”

Seymour said that he was last in Hawke’s Bay a year ago and he has been pleased with the progress of the rebuild after Cyclone Gabrielle.

“Look, to be honest, I know this will be controversial, but better than I thought. I was here a year ago, a bit over a year, and I was lucky enough to get access to a helicopter and actually go up and have a look at the devastation.”

“I've just visited the Ravensdown fertilizer plant here, and that was shut down for six months or so, but it's now back in business. I was at the Rockit Apple plant; again, they've taken a hit. They lost 30% or 40% last year, but they're actually set for another record year from other plantings that survived.”

“So on balance, I'm finding that people are really managed to get it back together quicker than I hoped. I recognise that won't be everyone, and there's still people that will have long-term recovery plans, but on balance, I'm pretty impressed at how well people have pulled it back together here in the Bay.”

Watch the accompanying video to see our interview with David Seymour.