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

 


Marine Legislation Bill and Human Rights

Marine Legislation Bill and Human Rights

Chairperson of the Aotearoa Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) Edward Miller has expressed concerns about the process and human rights implications of the Marine Legislation Bill, which was amended yesterday [Tuesday] and now heads toward its third reading.

The Bill amends two other pieces of law, notably the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 which regulates offshore oil drilling. A subsequent supplementary order paper amends that legislation, allowing the Environment Minister to introduce regulations that designate exploratory oil drilling as a non-notified activity. This would mean that applications for exploratory oil drilling could be made and granted without notifying the public, granting the Minister sole discretion to assess the risk of significant environmental damage.

“The changes make it much more difficult to get information about exploratory oil drilling, giving mining companies a head-start in making their case about the purported economic benefits" said Miller. "They are being touted as necessary to reduce costs for applicants and render them proportionate to the scale of environmental risk. Yet exploratory drilling is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous parts of the commercial drilling process as risks are unclear until explored.

“This assessment gets the balance between interests wrong and is an inappropriate basis for jettisoning public interest and democratic engagement. It ignores the massively disproportionate resource advantage and political clout oil companies enjoy over environmental and public health groups; indeed, this law will act as a foghorn for that advantage.”

Miller also raised concerns around the legislative process used. “The government has allowed only one practical opportunity for consultation on the change, in a Discussion Document with a submission period that runs until 5pm today, 25 September 2013. In the meantime the government has amended the legislation without waiting for the results of that consultation.

“The right to participate in public affairs is a fundamental human right that ought not be traded for unproven economic gains. The proposed legislation flies in the face of New Zealand’s international obligations, and undermines the concept of sustainable development, which requires the involvement of multiple stakeholders to ensure that development is in the best interests of all parties concerned.

“Exploratory offshore oil drilling is an extremely contentious practice with serious implications for the surrounding environment and human health. Earlier this year the government used a supplementary order paper to remove the right to protest at sea. Documents later released show that these changes were the result of a shady deal between oil company Shell and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce. Will we find the same commercial interference into the political process has motivated these changes?”

HRLA has made a submission on the Discussion Document, recommending that the Minister refrain from regulating to make exploratory oil drilling non-notified until a full and open human rights assessment has been undertaken.

-ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news