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‘Dictatorship At Its Worst,’ Ngāti Ruanui Opposes Governments Fast-track Consenting

Ngāti Ruanui Iwi is opposing new fast-track consenting legislation following a letter received from Hon Chris Bishop, Minister for Resource Management Reform.

As part of the Government’s 100 day plan, a fast-track consenting regime for local, regional, or nationally significant infrastructure and development projects is being planned under urgency.

“The ‘fast track’ bill will undermine not only the rights of iwi but also stop the community from having any say on projects that will impact them directly. This is one of the biggest steps backward for environmental protection and will send us back to the 1970s and 1980s,” said Tumu Whakaae, Haimona Maruera.

“There is little constraint on the fast-track consenting proposal. Everything becomes open to referral to this new way of consent. It is wreckless.

“What is equally concerning is the fact the new legislation will “trump” all other legalisation where authority is required such as the Conservation Act and the Exclusive Economic Zone legislation out to 200 nautical miles.

“Any protection you thought you had and even the ability to submit your concerns, are gone.

“It is also alarming that the ability to decline projects under this new fast track approach will be almost impossible with Ministers planning to hold the ultimate approval rights.

“This type of approach opens the possibility of private developers to lobby ministers especially in areas such as offshore mining and using resources in the conversation estate.

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“It was shameful that the Minister and Ministry for the Environment gave less than 10 working days to respond to the fast-track consenting being proposed. This is not consultation but rather a dictatorship,” said Maruera.

“Ngāti Ruanui will continue to oppose this fast track consenting all the way, along with any other proposals in the environment space which erodes our hard-fought rights as mana whenua.”

Ngāti Ruanui is seeking urgent discussions with the Minister.

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