The following is the text of the Historic Places Canterbury Submission on the Natural and Built Environment Bill Exposure Draft.
Full Name:Historic Places Canterbury
Contact: Lynne Lochhead
Submission to the Environment Committee Inquiry on the Natural and Built Environments Bill Exposure Draft
Historic Places Canterbury (HPC), an independent regional society affiliated to Historic Places Aotearoa (HPA). HPC is the NZHPT (now Heritage New Zealand) approved body which the Canterbury Branch Committee transitioned to. Our objectives are the protection of heritage, providing local advocacy on heritage and promoting the education of the public in their appreciation of heritage values.
HPC welcomes the opportunity to comment on the exposure draft of the Natural and Built Environments Bill. We note that the exposure draft only deals with a selection of provisions and that others are yet to be drafted. For this reason it is difficult to know how the drafted provisions will relate to the still to be drafted provisions and what impact the full draft might have on views. Nevertheless there are a number of matters which we wish to address in relation to the exposure draft. Given our role as an organization concerned with promoting protection of heritage our comments will largely address the impact of the Bill on managing and protecting cultural heritage in New Zealand.
HPC supports the need for a major reform of resource management law. The existing legislation, despite an emphasis on sustainability, has failed to adequately manage the natural environment, with key environmental indicators getting worse every year. lt has also proven to be insufficiently responsive to major issues such as global warming. Numerous amendments over time have resulted in an Act that is cumbersome and increasingly complex. A complete overhaul is timely.
HPC welcomes the emphasis on pursuing positive outcomes within clearly defined environmental limits and the emphasis on a national planning framework. However we feel concern that despite the name of the Bill, the importance of the built environment is downgraded in this draft and that cultural heritage is significantly downgraded from its status under s. 6 of the RMA as a matter of national importance.(more…)