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

Gordon Campbell:
On Anne Tolley’s
Callous Folly

Years ago, I remember someone in the Heath Ministry telling me off the record that regulatory oversight in this country largely consisted in ‘waiting for something to turn green or fall off somebody’ before the authorities would swing into action...

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

 

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Housing MPs: New Building(s) For Parliament

A new building will be erected on Parliament grounds to house Members of Parliament and their staff who currently work in leased accommodation in Bowen House. The plan has cross-Party support, apart from NZ First, said Parliament’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news