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Fast-track Bill Release Marks ‘Dark Day For Nature And Democracy’

Greenpeace Aotearoa is slamming the announcement of the fast-track consenting bill, saying that the radically anti-nature policy has no regard for nature or democracy.

No specific projects have been announced as part of the fast-track bill yet, but the government has signalled that irrigation dams, mining, and aquaculture are likely to be included.

Greenpeace spokesperson Gen Toop is at Parliament now and says, "This bill will unleash unimaginable environmental destruction, the likes of which New Zealand has not seen in decades.

"Luxon’s Government has declared war on nature, and it will have devastating consequences. We should all be deeply concerned. We’re calling on all New Zealanders to join us to resist this fast track bill and the Government’s war on nature."

"The new fast track Bill is a radically anti-environment policy, giving unbridled power to just three Ministers to approve developments. It will allow all of this to take place with vastly limited input from the public.

"Fast-tracking new corporate mega-dairy farms and irrigation dams will lead to more water pollution. And already, rural communities across the country are drinking nitrate-contaminated water, while many rivers and lakes are unswimmable," says Toop.

The bill will allow Ministers to bypass the Resource Management Act, and run roughshod over other environmental protection laws to approve developments with minimal public consultation or engagement with local communities, tangata whenua and environmental experts. Before it had even been publicly released, it had come under fire from environmental groups, law experts and iwi and hapū.

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"This new law will lead to dirtier rivers, undrinkable water and more mines ripping up precious wilderness. And I doubt very much that New Zealanders feel comfortable giving up their right to have a say on huge development projects in their backyards" says Toop.

"This is a really dark day for nature and our democracy. Greenpeace is committed to fighting the government’s plans to fast-track the destruction of nature. We know from recent history that when people stand together to protect the places they care about, they can overcome even the most regressive government policies."

Earlier today, Greenpeace installed a " giant dirty dairy effluent tap" on parliament lawn and poured Christopher Luxon a big glass of polluted water to protest the fast-track bill’s threat to fresh water.

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