Tuesday, April 18, 2006

RMA madness again (so are we surprised?)

hattip: NZ Herald
In another piece of fine RMA madness the Environment Court has ruled against a Mussel Farm in the Kaipara Harbour partly because it would ruin the view for walkers.  However the true madness is that it is not even because it would spoil the view for current walkers, it was because there is "potential for the scale of walking to increase".

Now unless this was a particularly odd mussel farm - personally the existence of some posts in the harbour doesn't really seem like that much of a detraction to the view to me.  And something we desperately need to do in this country is exploit our advantage in the realms of mussels.  If you go to Belgium you can find out how huge the world demand for mussels truly is - the scale of farming and automation involved is incredible.  Once you order a pot of mussels and incredulously stare at the specimens that are called mussels (due to the different breed used) you will also get a feeling for why the fine restaurants of the world call for green lips.  Correlate the two and you can see this is one potential export earner for us in which we need to invest heavily.

And yet we cannot because yet another investment is scuttled by a dubious call on visual impact in an area that has not yet even managed to establish itself.  I could understand if this was a heavily used walking area that the conditions applied should be more stringent - but even then I would question the decision.  More to the point if it was actually the future development of the area as a tramping destination why not at least allow the development to go ahead with a condition on its removal if the area can / does develop sufficiently in that direction?  I bet that in 10 years time the walk will still be at a stage of
"potential for the scale of walking to increase" while the commercial opportunity has been long since lost.
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