Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Government refuses environmental legal aid for Auckland

Media Release: Government refuses environmental legal aid for Auckland

The Environmental Defence Society has released a letter from the Secretary for the Environment confirming that the Environmental Legal Aid Fund will not be available to Aucklanders for the Unitary Plan process.

The ELA Fund is available nationally to assist groups to hire legal and resource management experts for Environment Court appeals.

“We thought that environmental legal aid should be available for the Auckland plan process because under the special Auckland legislation, there is only one hearing by a panel with no normal rights of appeal to the Environment Court,” said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.

“We wrote to the Ministry and to the Minister for the Environment late last year and set out the reasons for making the fund available for Auckland. We noted that it was approved for the one-stop hearings on the Canterbury plan and that fairness demanded that Auckland should be treated the same.

“In his response, the Secretary for the Environment, Dr Paul Reynolds, said his expectation was that the focus of the decision-making process would be on consultation and mediation, rather than on litigation.

“This is a somewhat lame response since the consultation phase on the draft plan is now complete so is not an issue, and the ELA Fund could be used to support mediation on the Auckland plan in a similar manner to the way it has funded Environment Court mediation for other plans. In addition, the one-stop hearing process is not “litigation” but rather an inquiry by an independent panel into the merits of the Plan.

“Given that Government has said it won’t help, we think that the Auckland Council should give some careful thought to how it can support communities to effectively engage in the hearing process so we get focused, quality inputs that save time and help achieve the best possible outcome.

“This should at least involve provision of a “Friends of Submitters” facility – one or more experts who would advise on how to effectively engage in the plan-making process. Council should also consider creating an Environmental Legal Aid fund of its own, for qualifying groups, so that they are able to engage expert advisers.

“Finally, EDS has received many requests from community and environmental groups for advice on the plan-making process in Auckland. We have run some well-attended workshops, but do not have capacity to provide further support ourselves, since our RMA Advice Service funding was cut by the Ministry for the Environment last year.

“We will however be making a substantive input into the Auckland Plan process ourselves,” Mr Taylor concluded.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news