Today, the Labour party are calling upon the Environment Minister, Nick Smith, to come clean on his plans to take away our right to protect our play areas, the forests we tramp in and the rivers we fish in.

The Government has long planned to take the hatchet to the environmental gold standard that is the Resource Management Act (RMA) and roll back our environmental safeguards to make way for more intensive and polluting dairying and fracking.

And they currently want to keep their plans behind closed doors and away from New Zealanders.

Kauri tree

Only recently we saw how the government’s efforts to weaken the RMA would have seen the destruction of a 500 year old kauri tree to make way for a driveway. It was a ludicrous decision that was overturned thanks to a massive public outcry and the Titirangi community who took action to save the tree.

Their petition to #SaveOurKauri on Toko.org.nz attracted tens of thousands of signatures in a matter of days.

The RMA is not perfect, and there some changes that could be made that will let it work better and more quickly for Kiwi’s, but the core of the law must stay – to safeguard our precious trees, open spaces, rivers and streams from unnecessary and destructive development.

So please support this petition to get the Government to front up about the changes they want to make to our land.