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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Inadequate Response To Sexual Violence Prevention

On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the attitudes of ACC staff towards sexual violence victims, and offering them more substantive support.

Hopefully, this will help to reverse the damage done with the insensitive, punitive ACC policy put in place by the incoming Key government in 2009, which in some parts of New Zealand, saw 90 per cent of sexual violence victims being turned away by ACC. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

"To Help Families Get Ahead": April 1 Changes Kick In

Prime Minister John Key says Paid Parental Leave, the parental tax credit, the minimum wage and Superannuation will increase, while average ACC levies will fall, and more people will be helped in to home ownership... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news