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


Fight for conservation land to continue in Supreme Court

Fight for conservation land to continue in Supreme Court
28 Sept 2016
Forest & Bird says that many New Zealanders will be baffled by the Minister of Conservation seeking to overturn an appeal court decision that she acted illegally in trying to remove specially protected land from the Ruahine Forest Park to allow a dam.

“The Court of Appeal carefully considered the purpose for which land is protected under the Conservation Act and held that the Minister can’t treat public conservation land as if there were a “revolving door” between protected and not protected.

“The ultimate outcome sought by this challenge is to enable the controversial Ruataniwha Dam to proceed. We doubt New Zealanders would consider it to be the Conservation Minister’s role to support irrigation schemes like this,” Forest & Bird’s Acting Chief Executive Mike Kotlyar says.

“If it goes ahead, this land swap will set a precedent for up to 1 million hectares of specially protected conservation land, creating the possibility that these areas can be reclassified and destroyed. The land that the Minister of Conservation wants to swap includes mature forest that is home to threatened wildlife, including long-tailed bats and falcons.

“The Department of Conservation has previously accepted that the land, which borders the Makaroro River and Dutch Creek, has high conservation values and that the special protection would not have been revoked without the land swap,” Mr Kotlyar says.

The company behind the Ruataniwha Dam is an investment company that is wholly owned by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. The investment company has also applied for leave to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision.

In its majority ruling in August, the Appeal Court made the following statements:

[62] [The Conservation Act] … does not permit a revolving door between the designations of stewardship area and conservation park based on whether the land concerned happens to be an arena for recreation at a given moment.

[77] This anomaly invites the inference that the Department was not concerned with reaching the correct statutory designation and serves to highlight the overall artificiality of the Department’s decision-making process. … It must be contrary to the conferral of specially protected status under the [Conservation] Act, which secures the land for the options of future generations, to then carve away discrete sections from the broader conservation park for individual assessment.

[80] In our judgment the only inference available from the process adopted throughout by the Department and endorsed by the Director-General is that it led to an unlawful decision. In substance, if not in name, the Director-General applied the s 16A test in deciding whether to exercise his revocation power under s 18(7). Significantly, he did not identify the purpose or purposes of the Act served by the decision unless it was the purpose of global or overall enhancement provided by s 16A(2). The revocation decision was unlawful and should be set aside.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Lessons The Greens Should Take From The Demise Of Winston Peters

Wondering about “if only" is one of those political games we all indulge in from time to time. For example: episode one of the latest season of The Good Fight TV series dropped us into a world where Hillary Clinton is the US President and Elizabeth Warren and Merrick Garland are Supreme Court justices, where rain forests are being saved and polar bears are coming back from extinction. Yet alarmingly, people keep on having these bad dreams about Donald Trump being the President... More>>


Referendum Preliminary Results: 'Yes' On End-Of-Life, 'No' On Recreational Cannabis

End of Life Choice Referendum The referendum asked the question: 'Do you support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force?' 65.2% Yes 33.8% No 1.0% Informal VOTES NUMBER OF VOTES RECEIVED PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL VOTES Yes 1,574,645 65.2% ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>


Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

Election: ParityBOT_NZ Processed Nearly 200,000 Tweets To Find And Fight Online Abuse Over The NZ Election

Auckland, New Zealand: Of the almost 200,000 tweets directed at women candidates that Areto Labs’ proprietary election Twitter bot, ParityBOT_NZ, processed over the New Zealand election period, nearly 4,000 were classified as toxic and triggered ... More>>

Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>


Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels