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


EDS calls for donations to support 2 key areas

EDS calls for donations to support 2 key areas of New Zealand: Mackenzie Country & Te Mata Peak

Some of you will have already received our mail out appeal and thank you to those who have responded already to support us.

2018 will see big battles over some of our country’s most valued places. A new government offers fresh opportunities for reform. And with your help, EDS will continue to be at the forefront of positive action for our environment.

A focus for EDS is protecting the scenery and ecology that makes New Zealand unique in the world. It’s tough and challenging work that embraces education, litigation and policy development, and it’s having a big effect, on land and sea.

All of this work needs resources so we can hire expert, highly qualified staff. We’ve received great support in the past. But this is a new year with fresh cases to win, bad developments to stop and good reforms to lock in. So we are reaching out to you for to help.

In 2017 we made good gains, against the odds:

* new rules better protect the Mackenzie Basin (but the job’s not all done)
* a High Court win widened the scope of the law on outstanding landscapes
* we published a seminal report on biobanking and offsetting
* we advanced the case for positive resource management reform
* freshwater reforms gained momentum (but there’s more to do)
* the fishing sector came under increasing scrutiny
* we ran two big conferences on environment and climate change.

It was a successful year for EDS.

But there are some big challenges coming up in 2018 and I want to highlight two of them:

The Mackenzie Country

As you know, the Mackenzie Country with its tussock grasslands is a unique and outstanding landscape. In spite of tightening regulations, it remains under enormous development pressures. The latest is a 15,000 cow dairy development proposed on Simons Pass Station, largely leasehold land under tenure review.

The leaseholder, Christchurch businessman Murray Valentine, described his intentions this way in a recent newsroom story:

And, yes, we will destroy some native plants and some native lizards and stuff. And, yeah, the habitat of birds will have to shift to other places. And I don’t disagree with anyone who says that.

EDS says “no way!” to that proposition, and argues that if you wanted to find a place least suited to intensive dairy development, the dryland moraine of the upper Mackenzie Basin would be it. If the RMA worked, and if agencies such as LINZ, the Mackenzie District Council and Environment Canterbury did their jobs properly, this proposition would not have got so far towards fruition.

So EDS will be putting real effort into the Mackenzie Basin this year. The work programme includes:

* pushing government hard to review the entire tenure review process
* supporting the Mackenzie Country Trust
* critiquing the soon to be released Mackenzie Review, which was commissioned by government agencies at our request
* presenting ecological and landscape evidence on the Mackenzie District Council’s district plan review
* investigating the consents still required for large-scale dairy conversion at Simons Pass Station and litigating where necessary to try to stop it
* standing behind our tenure review submissions on Simons Pass and Ferintosh and going to the High Court if LINZ comes up with unacceptable outcomes.

Te Mata Peak

This ongoing controversy exemplifies the challenges in getting councils to protect their landscapes.

In this case, Hastings District Council decided that development of a new walking track up the eastern slopes of Te Mata Peak had effects that were ‘less than minor”. This decision was made in spite of Te Mata Peak being listed in the Council’s plan as an outstanding landscape of enormous cultural signifcance to iwi. Inexplicably, it approved the application from Craggy Range Vineyard on a non-notified basis.

This was unlawful. We wrote to both the Council and Craggy Range saying so, and threatened judicial review. Importantly, local iwi denounced the development in no uncertain terms.

The result was that Craggy Range wrote to EDS and agreed to remove the track. But now there are parties trying to unravel that agreement.

We are continuing to monitor the situation at Te Mata and will take Court action if there’s any reneging on the undertaking to remove the track.

It should be recorded, though, that we applaud the vineyard’s commitment to restore the land, which we think is principled and right.

Those are just two examples of the challenges we face in protecting New Zealand’s outstanding landscapes.

During this year EDS will continue to make submissions on all regional policy statements in New Zealand that target landscape and ecology. We are currently running appeals in the Environment Court and also on important district plans such as Thames-Coromandel. New Zealand’s outstanding scenery is under persistent threat, and we need to be vigilant and able to intervene to stop bad stuff happening.

While landscape is a special focus, we plan other actions for the environment in 2018.

We will run the big EDS Conference in early August. That will scrutinise the new government’s proposed environmental reforms and lend support where needed. In October we have our Climate Change Conference, which will address fresh policy initiatives from the government that at long last show New Zealand is taking that existential threat seriously.

In April we will be releasing a major new book that critically evaluates fisheries management and reinforces the need for a public inquiry into the sector. We’ll be pushing for implementation of the Hauraki Gulf plan and continuing our support of the Kermadec Oceans Sanctuary through the courts, if necessary. We have already suggested short-term amendments to the Resource Management Act to roll back many of last year’s negative changes and will also continue to push the case for a longer-term, first-principles reform of the wider resource management system, through our RM Reform project.

In short, we have a comprehensive and carefully thought-through work plan for 2018.

So please help us! Your donation will enable us to reinforce current efforts to save many highly valued parts of our country and strongly pursue tangible, vital reform opportunities throughout the coming year.

Donations to EDS are tax deductible. You can support EDS in any of these ways:

1. Go online here and donate with your credit card via our secure online system, indicating which case (or project) you wish to support.
2. Complete this donation form and return it to us with your donation/credit card details.
3. Call us at the EDS office with your credit card details. (09) 302 2972.
4. Make a one-off donation or set up a regular donation via your bank. Our bank details are below. Complete the donation form and return it to us if you would like to receive a tax receipt.

Account Name: Environmental Defence Society
Account Number (BNZ): 02-0159-0033234-00

Together, we WILL make a difference!

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson+ Clark, And Russia’s FIFA World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark, which has been employed – time and again - by state agencies over the past decade, to spy on (and provide security against) ordinary New Zealanders engaged in lawful forms of protest. More>>


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say! Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>


PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in urope for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>


Hit And Run: AG Gives Approval For Inquiry

Attorney-General David Parker has today announced a Government Inquiry will be held into Operation Burnham and related events. The operation undertaken in Tirgiran Valley, Afghanistan, ... More>>


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>


Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>





Featured InfoPages