Groundswell has come out in support of Wellington residents battling their city council over Significant Natural Area (SNA) zoning affecting nearly 1,700 property owners. SNA’s are one of the main policies that Groundswell has identified as an unworkable regulation and spokesman Bryce McKenzie says the latest fiasco in Wellington is evidence the SNA policy does not work.

“This policy (SNA’s) is causing massive upheaval in communities throughout the country including the huge outcry in the Far North”, says McKenzie. “It penalizes conservation minded landowners, turns indigenous biodiversity into a liability and undermines people’s property values.

It is an appalling policy and should be thrown out”, says McKenzie. Six months ago, Groundswell wrote to all councils asking them to halt work in the SNA space. Several councils including Far North, Upper Hutt City and Lower Hutt City Council agreed to shelve plans on SNA’s until the Governments legislation is clear.

Wellington residents have started a petition and Groundswell is urging all New Zealanders to support their fellow citizens against ‘this unworkable law’. “While farmers have borne the brunt of the Governments big stick state control, Groundswell is receiving a huge amount of support from urban people who are realizing that they too are being hit with unworkable regulations”, says McKenzie.

Groundswell are calling on the Wellington City Council to follow the lead of others councils in halting the SNA process. “If they do not it will create an added focus for our major protest event in Wellington next year”, says McKenzie.

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