Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Carter's Intervention "Troubling"

Carter's Intervention "Troubling"

The Locke Foundation today said the recent intervention by Enviroment minister Chris Carter to overrule the Enviroment Court should send loud warning signals to the nation.

On the 7th of March it became known that after the Whangamata Marina Society had gone through the entire process of gaining approval from the Environment Court to build a marina in the Whangamata Harbour, Mr Carter announced that the Court had made a mistaken judgement, and denied consent for the project. Locke foundation spokesperson Madeleine Flannagan said today that regardless of what anyone thinks of the merits of the marina, Mr Carter's actions raise serious concerns over judicial processes.

"The reason that we have courts in general and the enviroment court in particular is so that these decisions don't just get made by one person with an opinion. Like any court, the enviroment court is a forum where all the relevant evidence can be waded through so that a decision can be made via a judicious process. Just imagine if a Member of parliament could intervene and overule the decisions of judges in criminal cases, or any other case for that matter. Some people call it separation of powers, but whatever you call it, the judicial process is supposed to be protected from this type of political meddling."

Mrs Flannagan said that the role of the minister was hopelessly in consent approvals was so unclear as to be either redundant or dangerous. "Either we have a situation where the minister simply certifies and rubber stamps the end result of the court process, in which case he would be somewhat redundant, or else regardless of the findings and decisions of the court, the minister can ignore what it says and enforce whatever decision he personally likes, which is dangerous." Mrs Flannagan added, "Courts are a politically neutral arbiter whether on enviromental matters or any other, and for a member of parliament to literally have the solitary power to overrule a court and impose his will has more in common with a medieval monarchy than a liberal democracy like New Zealand."

The Locke Foundation called on the government to clarify exactly what the role of the minister is, and exactly why the court process is necessary if the minister has no obligation to respect its decision.

***** END *****


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news