RMLA President’s Report : October 2015

TÄ“nā koutou e Te Kahui Ture Taiao 

As I step into some pretty big shoes I have been reflecting on the legacy that the incoming national committee is inheriting, and the opportunities this presents for the RMLA. 

Most importantly I want to acknowledge and thank the two executive members who have retired from the committee, Martin Williams and Kate Barry-Piceno.  Those of you who were at the conference dinner would have heard the fitting farewell that I think caused more than one moist eye. For the benefit of those who weren’t at the conference I would like to repeat the heartfelt appreciation that many of us have for Martin’s and Kate’s leadership and contribution in their service to the RMLA over the years. 

Kate has been on the national committee since 2008, and in her last four years served as treasurer and then secretary, as well as holding various portfolios.  It was fitting to end Kate’s time on the committee with a truly memorable conference hosted in her place of practice, Tauranga.  Martin has been on the committee since 2006 and served as treasurer, secretary and of course president.  In that time, particularly as president, he has raised the bar, really challenged the committee to help the RMLA provide a better service to its members, and be more connected and hopefully influential in the pursuit of our main objective – the promotion of best practice in the implementation of environmental policy and law, including through education, debate and commentary. 

Secondly what an incredible team effort that resulted in the conference Mātauranga Māori. What a watershed moment that conference was – I saw minds and hearts opened.  It was a real catalyst and hopefully the change in gear and increased awareness and understanding it sparked will have a positive impact on how we work as a community of practitioners, participants and kaitiaki.  Thank you to all – Cushla Loomb, Richard Turner, the committee, the speakers, the hosts and the sponsors.  You all created something truly special. 

And now looking to the future I congratulate James Gardner-Hopkins and Andrea Rickard for their appointments as secretary and treasurer respectively, and to two new committee members Kitt Littlejohn and Andy Carr.  I’m looking forward to working with you all and seeing what we can achieve together. 

I also want to formally welcome our new Communications and Sponsorship Manager Rikki Stancich to the team.  Rikki’s role will be the strategic and tactical management of RMLA’s communications and sponsorship activities so that the RMLA can provide a better service to members, be more attractive to sponsors and have increased visibility and influence where it counts and will make a difference. 

I’m sure we will have a busy year holding each other to the measure of best practice and debating reforms of the law, policies and plans.  We are off to a quick start with the introductions of the bills to amend the special processes in both Canterbury and Auckland kicking off a round of legislative reforms, which will probably pale in comparison to the package of reforms to the RMA and other environmental statutes that is looming.  

If you want to be actively involved in the development of the RMLA’s submissions on these reforms, please make sure you sign up to the RMA Policy and Review Special Interest Group https://www.rmla.org.nz/contact-us/sig.  Check out previous submissions we have lodged on Bills in particular here https://www.rmla.org.nz/librarydoc/index/category/2 

Over the next month the RMLA is hosting several key events and roadshows across the country. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to visit our events page https://www.rmla.org.nz/events to review the upcoming events and sign up.  I’ll be getting out and about as well, and I really look forward to meeting more of our members during my term as president. 

Noho ora mai
Maree Baker-Galloway
RMLA | Te Kahui Ture Taiao