Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Environmental Legal Aid Shows Anti-Business Agenda

Environmental Legal Aid Shows Anti-Business Agenda

Thursday 21st Dec 2000 Gerry Eckhoff Media Release -- Environment

The Government’s announcement of legal aid to help environmental groups oppose resource consents in the environment court is yet another body blow to economic progress in New Zealand, said ACT Agriculture spokesman Gerry Eckhoff.

Under the environmental legal aid scheme announced by Environment Minister, Marian Hobbs, up to $20,000 will be given to environmental groups to contest resource consents.

“This government is hell bent on depriving individuals of the right to develop business on their own land. This latest attack on those working to grow the economy clearly illustrates this government’s anti-business dogma, regardless of the Prime Minister’s rhetoric.

“It is an outrage that the government has decided to fund extreme left wing ideologues with taxpayer money. If the government had thought this issue through, instead of trying to buy votes, they would have discovered the playing field is already tilted heavily in favour of protest groups.

“Currently a group can make a spurious resource consent claim and literally hold up the proposed development for years (all at the developers expense). Organisers behind a proposal for a new Whangarei port have already spent $6.5 million gaining resource consents, as protestors submit pro forma objections to every proposal they submit.

“While in opposition Conservation Minister Sandra Lee had a private members bill debated in the House to grant legal aid to environmental groups and remove the ability of the Courts to award costs against such groups. Luckily, common-sense prevailed and the bill was defeated. Yet Marian Hobbs has picked up Sandra’s baton and is sprinting for the line.

“Both Sandra Lees’ private members bill and Marian Hobbs’ announcement are granting environmental groups a privileged status within our democracy, with absolutely no accountability to anyone. What is the difference between a disaffected rate payer group upset with their local council and a grizzling environmental group? Why should one attract special funding and not the other?

“This legal aid scheme will blow out as environmental lobby groups jockey to be the most anti-development. Marian Hobbs’ is encouraging vexatious, time wasting and anti-business objections,” said Gerry Eckhoff.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Epic Fails Of Kris Faafoi

Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither been kind nor just, especially to the migrants whose skills New Zealand will need to get us through Covid, and grow the economy into the future... More>>

Covid-19 & Government: Government Green Lights Rapid Antigen Testing

Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall... More>>



Government: Opportunity To Shape NZ’s First Emissions Reduction Plan
The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>


Government: Books Show Resilient And Strong Economy
The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast... More>>

Healthcare: Health System Is Ready For Assisted-dying Law
The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>

Children's Commissioner: Call For Mandatory Vaccination Of Children’s Workforce
The Children’s Commissioner and Assistant Māori Commissioner are calling for a plan for the mandatory vaccination of teachers and the entire children’s workforce in New Zealand... More>>




InfoPages News Channels