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


Copeland: UF won't back Crown Minerals Bill

Copeland: UF won't back Crown Minerals Bill

United Future will not back the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill - a bill it had hoped to support - because of the way it would connect to the seriously flawed Conservation Act, United Future's Gordon Copeland says.

"There is no point putting through legislation that impacts on privately owned land but doesn't touch the 33 percent of New Zealand under the Conservation Act.

"As long as that Act exists in such a way that it is so inflexible as to often work against New Zealand's broader social and economic interests, then United Future will not back legislation that effectively compounds that error," Mr Copeland said.

"Address the Conservation Act, and then bills such as the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill will actually be useful to New Zealand," he said.

As it stands, the Conservation Minister is advocate, judge and jury on the use of that 33 percent of the country, including virtually all rivers, lakes and streams, and "everything from pristine conservation areas and national parks to a variety of 'rubbish' land," Mr Copeland said in Parliament yesterday.

"And this land is effectively out of the reach of the Crown Minerals Bill, meaning that it's a fairly useless piece of legislation.

"And it gets worse. The public of New Zealand, mining companies, the energy generating companies and tourism operators never get to hear exactly what the Minister in his role as an advocate gets to say to the Minister in his role as the sole judge - and there is no right of appeal.

"This is a major systemic problem - and it is most clearly reflected in the fact that since 1987, no new hydro generation projects or tourism facilities such as hotels have been permitted on the one third of New Zealand land controlled by DOC and the Minister," he told the House.

"The bottom line is that international mining companies are bypassing New Zealand and heading off to places like Western Australia where they have proper transparent processes, manuals and policies in relation to mining on conservation land.

"What do we have? Ill-defined, unaccountable, autocratic decision-making. No one can do business in that environment, so let's get it fixed," he said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election