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


High Court Decision Boosts Bid to Save Denniston Plateau

High Court Decision Boosts Bid to Save Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin is delighted that the High Court has ruled in favour of the conservation organisation by finding errors of law in the Environment Court’s interim decision released in March.

“This decision means the Environment Court will have to re-evaluate several points in our case to save Denniston from being open-cast mined. The Environment Court judge has already said that the case is ‘finely balanced’ so we’re hopeful today’s decision will cause the balance of his decision to shift in favour of protecting Denniston Plateau’s unique landscape, plants and animals.”

A key component of Forest & Bird’s Environment Court appeal concerns the inability of mining company Bathurst Resources to adequately address the environmental damages caused by the 188ha open-cast mine and surrounding operations through predator control near the mine site and 100km north in the Heaphy catchment. Today’s decision strengthens Forest & Bird’s argument by clearly delineating between mitigation and offsetting. This distinction is important because activities that are “mitigation” get special consideration.

“It’s a really significant point for us, both for this case and also future cases involving offsets,” Debs Martin says. “In this case, we argued that mitigation must directly reduce the impact of the mining activity. The offset proposals could not be mitigation as they weren’t related to the mining activities and would occur in areas away from the proposed mine.

“The High Court agreed with us that the offsets were not mitigation, and should not be treated as such. In respect to Denniston, this means that the predator control offset proposed by Bathurst will not be treated as mitigation.”

This ruling will also have significant implications for similar cases in the future, by clarifying what mitigation is, and provide greater certainty around what is required to protect special places like Denniston.

“We’re encouraged by the High Court’s ruling. Winning the point about offsets and mitigation was critical to our case and we now look forward to returning to the Environment Court next week,” Debs Martin says.

The High Court judge also reiterated that the Environment Court has not yet made a decision whether or not to grant the application to mine on the Denniston Plateau.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hope For Nature: A New Deal For The Commons

Joseph Cederwall on The Dig: The disruption and destruction of the interconnected biodiversity of Earth is the most serious challenge humanity has ever faced. This is an ecosystem emergency on an extinction scale. It is also a serious threat to the inherent rights of the diversity of non-human life, ecosystems and human Cultures on Earth to exist and thrive. The current global paradigm is devastating life everywhere by disrupting vital “ecosystem services” like the food, water, and climate regulation systems that both humanity and biodiversity depend on in an interconnected balance. It is increasingly clear that the primary driver of this crisis is the limiting and infectious worldview around land and resource use so central to the global capitalist system. To fully understand the biodiversity crisis and explore what comes next, it is necessary to address this mind-virus at the heart of our modern civilisation – the dominion worldview. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Farming Sector’s Persecution Complex

The narrative that our farmers are ‘doing it tough’ plays into a number of wellworn stereotypes ... More>>


corrections, prisonCorrections: Independent Review Of Prisoner Mail Management

The independent review into the prisoner mail system has today been released, with Corrections accepting all 13 recommendations and making a number of changes to strengthen the management of prisoner mail. More>>


IPCA: Unlawful Detention Of Teenager; Influence Of Investigation

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that former Inspector Hurimoana Dennis unlawfully detained an Auckland teenager in 2015, and improperly influenced the outcome of a criminal investigation into his own son in 2014. More>>


SOP For Gun Bill: New Measures For Modified Pistols

The new controls will • Prohibit short-barrelled semi-automatic rifles which currently are defined as pistols because they are shorter than 762 millimetres. • Introduce tighter controls over pistol carbine conversion kits… • Prohibit firearms which contain a part known as a centrefire lower receiver… More>>

'Culturally Arranged Visitors Visa': Fix For Marriage Visa Issue

Earlier this year Immigration New Zealand issued guidance to front line Immigration staff that made it significantly harder for people to get visas to visit their partner. That guidance no longer applies with today’s announcement. More>>


Conflict Of Interest For Key Member: Budget Data Breach Investigation Shut Down

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today terminated the investigation into how Budget-sensitive material was accessed at the Treasury and appointed a new inquirer. More>>

RNZ Report: Mysterious Foundation Loaning NZ First Money

A mysterious foundation that loans money to New Zealand First is under scrutiny, with a university law professor saying although it's lawful, it fails to provide the transparency voters need in a democracy. More>>

Justice: Criminal Cases Review Commission Established

“We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, even with rights of appeals, and there needs to be a chance for the innocent on the right grounds to seek a final review of their case...” More>>





InfoPages News Channels