Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Supreme Court decision protects ‘outstanding landscapes'

Landmark Supreme Court decision protects ‘outstanding landscapes’

By Pattrick Smellie

April 17 (BusinessDesk) – The Supreme Court has upheld resource consents for three salmon farms to be developed in the Marlborough Sounds by the King Salmon company, but in an important win for the protection of “outstanding landscapes”, it has ruled against a fourth site.

The decision gives a major victory to the Environmental Defence Society, which took its appeal against the resource consent granted for a salmon farm at Paparua, Port Gore, because it believed the decision had failed to uphold important principles in the Coastal Policy Statement, which has legal force under the Resource Management Act.

“This is an incredibly important decision,” said EDS coastal policy expert Raewyn Peart. “I’ve been working on the RMA since it came into force in 1991 and this is the first time this issue has gone to the Supreme Court.

“It looks at this whole issue of whether the legislation, with a National Policy Statement, provides a binding bottom line (for environmental protection), whether it protects special places, and the court has said ‘yes’,” she told BusinessDesk.

“This has enormous implications for any decision-making that’s now going to affect our outstanding landscapes.”

However, the Marlborough Sounds lobby group, Save Our Sounds, failed in its application to have a further three other salmon farm resource consents overturned, to the bitter disappointment of members who attended the reading of the judgment in Wellington.

That was essentially because the Board of Inquiry that heard the resource consent applications agreed the Paparua site met the standard for an area of “outstanding natural character and outstanding natural landscape”, which qualified it for greater protection under the RMA than other areas.

The board was one of the first to consider a resource consent application under a fast-tracked RMA process enacted in 2011, and concluded it could exercise an “overall judgment” based on the principles of the RMA.

A majority of four of the five Supreme Court judges, including Chief Justice Sian Elias, who heard the case concluded the board was wrong. Justice William Young issued a dissenting judgment.

At the same time, today’s two Supreme Court decisions clear the way for King Salmon, which originally applied for resource consents at eight sites in the Marlborough Sounds, to develop three of them.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news