Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

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


Greenpeace Releases Letter On Government Plans To Override Environmental Laws

Last night, Greenpeace and other civil society groups received a letter from the new RMA reform Minister, Chris Bishop, outlining the Government’s plans to repeal, replace and override the nation’s environmental protections.

Greenpeace Aotearoa Executive Director Russel Norman has publicly released the letter, saying that New Zealanders have a right to know of the new Government’s destructive plans for freshwater and nature.

"The government is taking a chainsaw to New Zealand’s environmental protection laws," says Norman.

"The destructive plans laid out in this letter will lead to dirtier rivers, more contaminated drinking water and the loss of precious biodiversity."

The letter outlines the Government’s plan to introduce a new permanent fast-track consenting bill before March 7. The bill will override the RMA, which Greenpeace says will allow commercial projects to be rubber-stamped without due process and consideration of the impacts on the environment.

It appears there will be few, if any, avenues for public or environmental organisations to challenge the consenting of these commercial projects under the new law. Instead, the project will go to an expert panel which will be given ‘limited ability to decline a project.’

"Luxon’s government is trying to take us back to the bad old days and erase decades of work by the public, iwi, and civil society to protect freshwater and the environment in one fell swoop," says Norman.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

"If the government wants to try and bring back big irrigation schemes through this bill, like the Ruataniwha dam, they are going to have a serious battle on their hands. New Zealanders have mobilised in their thousands to fight for clean rivers, and we will do so again."

The letter also outlines another new bill to be introduced later in the year to get rid of Te Mana o Te Wai, which is the hierarchy of prioritisation of the health of rivers and the needs of people before the commercial use of water which is used in current consenting processes.

"Everyone should be able to swim in clean rivers and access safe drinking water," says Norman. "The current freshwater rules and Te Mana o te Wai are crucial to making sure that is a reality for all New Zealanders."

"This Government's plan to ditch the freshwater protections and Te Mana o Te Wai is a direct attack on the country’s already seriously polluted rivers, lakes and drinking water."

Greenpeace is vowing to fight the new bills and is calling on the Government to drop its anti-nature agenda.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Joining AUKUS Pillar Two

The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...


Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More

Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.