Bluegreens Slam Minister’s Whangamata Decision
8 March 2006
Bluegreens Slam Minister’s Whangamata Decision as “Constitutional Outrage”
Minister of Conservation Chris Carter’s decision to overturn the Environment Court’s decision to allow for a marina at Whangamata is a constitutional outrage, said Andrew von Dadelszen, the national convenor of Bluegreens, a policy group that advises the National Party on environment, conservation, outdoor recreation and heritage issues.
“This application for a resource consent to construct a marina at Whangamata had gone through an incredibly complex process of public consultation and input, and for the Minister to overrule it through his veto power smacks of dictatorship at its worst,” said Mr von Dadelszen. “The Resource Management Act is extremely rigorous, and this application took many years to progress through due process, and was finally approved by the Environment Court after a 27-day hearing.”
Mr von Dadelszen, who is also an Environment Bay of Plenty regional councillor, said he is outraged at the cavalier manner in which this Labour Party Minister has flouted the rule of law. He acknowledges the Minister’s right of veto, but notes that in nine years (and 126 decisions) throughout the 1990’s the then National Party Minister of Conservation, Hon Dr Nick Smith never once used “this draconian power of veto.”
“Bluegreens see this veto as just another case of ‘mother knows best’ that is the hallmark of the present government. We have a robust process within the RMA to protect our environment and ensure sustainability, and we don’t need political interference to intercede on behalf of vested interests,” said Mr von Dadelszen.