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

 

victory over "unlawful" Milford Sound helicopter landings

Federated Mountain Clubs declares victory over "unlawful" Milford Sound helicopter landings

The Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand is today declaring victory over the Department of Conservation's decision to allow a massive number of helicopter landings on a remote Fiordland Glacier. In 2016, the Department of Conservation controversially allowed 80 helicopter landings a day on the remote Ngapunatoru Plateau, near Milford Sound - breaching the Fiordland National Park Management Plan - calling it "research".

Federated Mountain Clubs took the issue to the Ombudsman, Leo Donnelly, who has in a finding released today declared DOC's decision to be "contrary to law". The report is published on the Ombudsman's website, www.ombudsman.parliament.nz today.

Mr Donnelly has today ordered that DOC end the research trial and cancel the extra landings. The Department of Conservation will also be required to report regularly on how it rolls back the allowed number of helicopter landings to an acceptable level, ahead of a new park plan being consulted on.

FMC President Peter Wilson stated that "this is a victory for the outdoor community, for the rule of law on public land, and for the intrinsic values of Fiordland. The "Japanese Whaling" style research "trial" ends.

"FMC always knew that DOC was wrong in granting the extra landings, but it is satisfying to have it declared unlawful today. We worked hard on behalf of our members to get this result".

"National park management plans mean what they say and say what they mean", Mr Wilson said, and "are not open for abuse by the Department in response to pressure from the previous government and the tourism industry"



Mr Wilson added that this was the second such ruling from the Ombudsman in recent years over Department decision-making, with a previous decision by DOC to allow extra guided walkers on the nearby Routeburn Track described by previous Ombudsman Peter Boshier as "nonsense on stilts".

"We thank the Ombudsmen profusely for providing a working check and balance over the DOC system"

DOC has said it will implement the findings of the Ombudsman's report.

FMC stated that it was positive that DOC supported the findings of the report, which he understood and FMC would work positively and proactively with the Department and with the aircraft operators to put in place a new system of aircraft landings ahead of the Fiordland National Park Management Plan review.
About Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand
Established in 1931, Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand (FMC) is New Zealand’s national association of over 80 tramping & mountain-climbing clubs, representing a total of over 20,000 individual members.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: The End Of ‘Objectivity’ In Journalism

... and the dawn of something much better?
2019 looks like it might well be another really bad, terrible, not so good year for the traditional journalism model globally. Already in January three leading US digital outlets—BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, and Vice announced layoffs that have left many accomplished journalists unemployed. Consolidation of journalism looks set to continue unabated as larger (sharky) media conglomerates swallow up smaller players globally. We also appear to be witnessing the death throes of the concept of ‘objective’ truth in journalism. However, perhaps that is not at all as bad as it sounds, and we are just finally waking up to the reality that it never really existed in the first place... More>>

 
 

Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>

ALSO:

Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>

ALSO:

Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>

ALSO:

Party Politics In Tax Morale Survey: SSC To Seek Answers From IRD

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins has today asked the State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes to examine IRD’s reported inappropriate use of a public survey. More>>

ALSO:

Health: Prohibiting Smoking In Vehicles Carrying Children

Under the change, Police will be able to require people to stop smoking in their cars if children (under 18) are present. Police will also be able to use their discretion to give warnings, refer people to stop-smoking support services, or issue an infringement fee of $50... It is expected that this amendment will become law by the end of 2019. More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Day: Nationwide Events Commemorate Treaty Signing

“From large-scale events attracting tens of thousands of people such as those at Hoani Waititi Marae in Auckland and the Porirua Waterfront, to smaller gatherings in areas as far flung as the Chatham Islands and to the significant commemorations at Waitangi, these events are an opportunity for us to reflect on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels