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

 


Government leaving Kiwis and environment out in the cold

Government leaving ordinary New Zealanders and environment out in the cold

The Government is making it harder for ordinary New Zealanders to protect the places they care about, the Green Party said today.

“The Environment Minister told officials that she didn’t want Aucklanders to be able to access environmental legal aid for the Auckland Unitary Plan process to try and protect the places they care about,” said Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“We need a level playing field so that we get the best outcomes for communities and the environment.

“The Government has consistently weakened our environmental law, suppressed dissenting voices and now is withholding funding for people trying to have their say effectively.

“Environmental legal aid means decision makers are better informed and helps protect the places we care about.

“Community and environmental organisations standing up to protect the places they care about have everything stacked against them. Now the Environment Minister is preventing them accessing the Environment Legal Assistance (ELA) Fund to participate in the hearings on the Auckland Unitary Plan.

“The Government has suppressed the Department of Conservation, which is supposed to be able to stand up for nature, from participating fully in cases like the Ruataniwha Dam. This leaves ordinary New Zealanders and local communities to hold the line when it comes to speaking out on the issues and places we care about.

“In the Board of Inquiry process for Trans Tasman’s seabed mining proposals, community and environmental organisations have also been denied access to the ELA Fund, which the Ministry for the Environment administers.

“It’s a David and Goliath battle where ordinary New Zealanders with limited access to funding for expert witnesses and lawyers are pitched against major corporations.

“Crucial decisions are being made about the future of our oceans and our biggest city. It is better for everyone when decision makers have all the information they need.

“Government should be increasing the $800,000 ELA Fund, that has remained stagnant since 2011, so that more organisations can use it to present evidence on major exploitation proposals such as seabed mining and significant plans such as Auckland’s Unitary Plan,” said Ms Sage.
Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

No Rail For New Harbour Crossing: National Giving Up On Rail In Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Auckland Looks Long Term To Pay-Per-Km Road Pricing

Aucklanders can expect to be paying variable rates per kilometre to travel on the city's most congested roads under an emerging transport strategy being formulated by the government and the Auckland Council. More>>

ALSO:

Despite Promises: Government Extends Iraq Deployment

Cabinet has agreed to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Security Forces until November 2018. More>>

ALSO:

On The 'Terrorism' Card:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news