'Conservation Week' - a time to reassess prioritie
This is the last Conservation Week of the millennium, and it is an opportunity to take a fresh look at conservation in New Zealand, and learn from the mistakes of the past, Alliance deputy leader and leader of Mana Motuhake Sandra Lee said today in 'Conservation Week.
‘Sandra Lee will attend the Department of Conservation cocktail function tonight in Auckland to mark 'Conservation Week' . 'It is with sadness that I look back over the last few years to see Maori and DOC pitted against one another again and again. It doesn't have to be this way. It shouldn't be this way,' she said.
‘The reality is that Maori and DOC often share the same concerns, and strive for common goals. That is, to manage our natural resources in a sustainable way so that future generations can enjoy our environment too.
‘I am committed, with my Alliance and Mana Motuhake colleagues to building a bridge betw moana in 1998, or the struggle over the Kaimanawa horses, could have been prevented.
‘Much of the problem stems from years of under-resourcing of DOC, combined with the failure of some Treaty settlement processes to deliver appropriately to Maori.
‘The Alliance is also committed to making the Resource Management Act a more fair and efficient process, without compromising the public's participation.
‘The Government its seems, is determined to sacrifice the public good in favour of private control of the process.
‘The Government's RMA Amendment Bill would hit the environment and Maori equall y hard, by introducing 'contestable consent processing'.
‘In other words, developers would be allowed to pick private consultancy companies to process their application. This sets up a totally unacceptable bias in the system.
‘The Alliance, if part of the next Government is committed to keeping the while decision making process in the hands of democratically elected local bodies.
'My Private members Bill on the RMA sets out a working partnership between development, which brings needed jobs to our regions, and the community, who must have the right to present their views in a court of law without fear of huge legal costs being awarded against them,' said Sandra Lee.