Good, clean and smart economic policy must be based on good, sensible environmental safeguards. It’s the only way we can look forward to a more prosperous future.

Yet John Key’s government, under the guidance of economic hatchet man Steven Joyce, are about to risk our future prosperity. They’re about to set fire to the very fabric of our clean green reputation: the RMA.

New analysis released today by the conservation powerhouse Fish and Game and former Prime Minister and constitutional expert Sir Geoffrey Palmer cuts right to the heart of the matter. Our nation will be poorer if the government’s planned changes to the RMA go ahead. Our rivers, lakes and coastlines will be under threat from more pollution. Our neighbourhoods swallowed up by new developments. And you’ll even lose your right to have your say about what happens in your back yard.

But this National led Government will bulldoze over democracy. They’ll sell our laws to big business over the interests of ordinary Kiwis. They’ll crack down on our proud tradition to protest at sea. They’ll weaken climate laws and they’ll fund the pollution of the streams where we fish and swim.

There is a smarter, cleaner way. A way that will bring a brighter future to New Zealand.

We have the expertise, the natural resources and the global reputation to deliver solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. And that’s because good environmental and democratic laws have shaped our identity and fine-tuned our know-how. The RMA is one pillar on which this success was built.

This government’s economic policies are not good, or clean. Nor are they smart or sensible. Our country deserves much, much better.