EDS Launches 'EDS Green Tick' Environmental Certification for Coastal Development
The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) today launched a new certification scheme aimed at protecting New Zealand's coastline by working closely with responsible developers to ensure better development outcomes.
"We all want to protect our coastal icons," said Gary Taylor, Chairperson of EDS.
"Unfortunately the recently published EDS Landscape Report showed that we are losing these at an unprecedented rate due to inappropriate development."
"This has come about because of a combination of inadequate legislative protection and because some developers and councils don't have the specialist knowledge needed to get these sensitive developments right. We have called on the government to improve legislation, but have also decided to take our own steps to help improve development practices."
"There are encouraging examples of good developments out there, and we want to acknowledge these through the EDS Green Tick. The scheme recognises those people and companies who are developing land in a positive way and going beyond the minimum required of them by the Resource Management Act.
"Today we have awarded the first EDS Green Tick to the Mountain Landing Development in the Bay of Islands, owned by Kiwi expat Peter Cooper. This development, which has yet to obtain resource consent, includes extensive re-vegetation planting of native plants, the restoration of wetlands, the creation of public reserves, protection of historic sites, careful siting of dwellings, an acceptable density of development and the enhancement of foreshore access for local iwi. Most importantly, the landowner has agreed that it will be a one-off subdivision with binding covenants."
"It is a stunning example of how the coast can be developed and is a model for others to follow."
EDS expects its Green Tick will become a sought-after approval that only those committed to absolute 'best practice' will secure. To gain an EDS Green Tick, developments will have to be reviewed by EDS and meet a comprehensive set of guidelines.
"This is not a 'green wash' exercise for developers. It is an opportunity for them to commit to the highest standards of development on sensitive coastal land and for that commitment to receive appropriate recognition," says Gary Taylor.
"The initiative does not mean that EDS will stop using legal remedies to try to prevent bad development or to get improved protection for the coast in council plans. That will continue. But what we are saying is that where development is acceptable, we need to lift the bar in terms of quality. Litigation is not the only way of doing that.
"People like Peter Cooper are leading the way and we are delighted to recognise that."