Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


$1 million injection for environmental legal aid

15 June 2000
$1 million injection for environmental legal aid

Green Party Justice spokesperson Nandor Tanczos said he was pleased that, for the first time, groups taking legal action on behalf of the environment will be able to apply for environmental legal aid thanks to a $1 million initiative from the Green Budget Package.

Mr Tanczos said that often projects and developments which were not in the best interests of the environment were pushed through, despite community opposition, because concerned groups could not afford a legal battle. This funding was designed to help such groups.

“The Green Party really wants to support those community organisations fighting for their local environment, and we’re happy that the Minister for the Environment has worked with us to set up an environmental legal aid fund.” said Mr Tanczos. “Under this initiative groups will be able to apply to the Ministry for the Environment for a grant to help with costs involved with bringing a case to court.”

He said environmental legal aid was intended to be part of the Resource Management Act when it was drafted, but under National Government’s had never been delivered. He said this $1 million would actually save court costs and wasted time as better legal advice to community groups would result in better prepared cases.

“Groups like Wellington’s Campaign for a Better City had to fundraise exhaustively in order to take Transit New Zealand to the Environment Court over their plans to push a multi-lane highway through the Te Aro flat,” he said. “Many other groups would just not have made it that far and this initiative is designed to restore a little balance to the playing field,” he said. “Ideally, legal challenges over environmental concerns should not cost a cent, but this is a step in the right direction.”

Mr Tanczos said it was unfair for the environment to so often lose in the battle between environmentally-minded locals and well-funded developers. The $1 million would give some groups the ability to mount strong legal defences on behalf of the environment and in the process save valuable areas of natural significance.

“One million dollars will make only a small start but I hope it will be significantly expanded in future years,” he said.

“The Greens campaigned hard on a more just justice system,” said Mr Tanczos. “Helping people fight for sustainability and a decent environment for their children is part of that commitment.”


Nandor Tanczos MP: 04 470 6712, 025 246 5235
JonathanHill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hope For Nature: A New Deal For The Commons

Joseph Cederwall on The Dig: The disruption and destruction of the interconnected biodiversity of Earth is the most serious challenge humanity has ever faced. It is devastating non-human life everywhere and disrupting vital “ecosystem services” like the food, water, and climate regulation systems humanity depends on.

It is increasingly clear that the primary underlying driver of this crisis is the limiting and infectious worldview around land and resource use central to the global capitalist system. To fully understand the biodiversity crisis and explore what comes next, it is necessary to address this mind-virus at the heart of our modern civilisation – the dominion worldview. More>>


SOP For Gun Bill: New Measures For Modified Pistols

The new controls will • Prohibit short-barrelled semi-automatic rifles which currently are defined as pistols because they are shorter than 762 millimetres. • Introduce tighter controls over pistol carbine conversion kits… • Prohibit firearms which contain a part known as a centrefire lower receiver… More>>

'Culturally Arranged Visitors Visa': Fix For Marriage Visa Issue

Earlier this year Immigration New Zealand issued guidance to front line Immigration staff that made it significantly harder for people to get visas to visit their partner. That guidance no longer applies with today’s announcement. More>>


Conflict Of Interest For Key Member: Budget Data Breach Investigation Shut Down

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today terminated the investigation into how Budget-sensitive material was accessed at the Treasury and appointed a new inquirer. More>>

RNZ Report: Mysterious Foundation Loaning NZ First Money

A mysterious foundation that loans money to New Zealand First is under scrutiny, with a university law professor saying although it's lawful, it fails to provide the transparency voters need in a democracy. More>>

Justice: Criminal Cases Review Commission Established

“We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, even with rights of appeals, and there needs to be a chance for the innocent on the right grounds to seek a final review of their case...” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why Sustainable NZ Isn't Self-Sustaining

Asking whether this new, environmentally focussed party can make the 5% MMP threshold may be the wrong question, though. It's more achievable goal would be to knock the Greens below the 5% threshold ... More>>


Report On Consultation: Future Of Tomorrow's Schools

“The 1989 Tomorrow’s Schools reform introduced one of world’s most devolved schooling systems where each school operates largely in isolation of each other... It empowered local communities and modernised an overly bureaucratic system but also led over time to uneven outcomes between schools.” More>>


National Education Doc:




InfoPages News Channels