NZ productivity remains 15% below the OECD average. Our labour productivity matters because over the long term, growth in incomes and, therefore, the goods and services that New Zealanders can consume, depends on it.
The Productivity Commission has put much of the blame on the RMA labelling it a ‘point of weakness’ in the planning system.
The Productivity Commission, which this morning released its report on how to improve urban planning, say the 25-year-old Resource Management Act had become a "point of weakness" in the planning system.
In place of the RMA, now being revamped by the Government, the report called for lawmakers to make a distinction, within a single statute, between the built and natural environments - and set clear objectives and principles for each.
The Government-commissioned report pointed to ways to make the planning system more responsive so urban land could shift to different uses over time, there was enough land and infrastructure to meet demand, and residents could move easily through cities.
Here’s Rodney Hide writing for Hobson's Pledge, an organisation fighting for democracy and equality under the law.
'"The approach by successive governments to Maori economic development is a triumph of hope over understanding and experience. More darkly, it’s the triumph of politics over what is good and just. The policy is to pump tribalism as a viable form of economic organisation. The tribal structures themselves would hardly exist outside of state mandate and massive subsidy. The result is a long list of constitutional outrages and economic sabotage.
The problem is straightforward: Tribalism is the worst form of economic organisation. It’s collectivist, it lacks incentive to perform, the principals can’t readily sack their agents and there’s invariably a complete lack of transparency and hence accountability. The structure works to the advantage of tribal bosses, not members. In modern society that shouldn’t matter but the state’s mandating and subsidising of tribes gives tribal bosses financial and political clout they otherwise would not enjoy.
And that’s the problem. Under the National Government, the ‘political clout’ of Iwi Leaders has grown immeasurably. The revelation that there have been at least 44 meetings between Iwi Leaders and Ministers of the Crown, since National was first elected in 2008, bears testimony to that – as does the signed Protocol that the Iwi Leaders Group has with Cabinet to ensure their views “are represented in the policy development process”.
Unless the RMA is repealed New Zealand will become more unproductive, more undemocratic, tribalist, separatist and poorer.