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Fast Track Bill A Blatant Act Of Vandalism For Corporate Kleptocracy

Climate Justice Taranaki describes the Fast Track Approvals Bill introduced into Parliament today as a blatant act of vandalism for corporate kleptocracy, and an annihilation of environmental stewardship and democracy.

“The Bill gives Ministers unfettered power in deciding the fate of ‘significant’ infrastructure and mining proposals, opens the floodgate for corporate lobbyists while shutting out environmental groups, local communities, and the public. The Ministers for Infrastructure, Regional Development and Transport hold the decision power, not the Minister for the Environment.

The new government is hell-bent on backing the extractive industry by removing the already weak protection in several critical pieces of legislation – the RMA, the EEZ and Continental Shelf Act, the Crown Minerals Act, Conservation Act, and others. This is blatant vandalism for corporate kleptocracy. We need to stop extracting and start restoring and healing our land, our oceans and our people, now,” says Catherine Cheung of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“The new coalition government has no real plan on how to transition this country facing unprecedented climate, ecological and social crises. This is despite almost all primary industry experts recently rating climate change, extreme weather, and water quality as the three biggest challenges likely to affect agriculture. This government is going to totally ruin this country.

With this Bill, we expect more battles against gold, coal, oil and gas, and seabed miners, polluting and damaging highways, aquaculture, damaging irrigation, windfarms and land conversion in places they should not be, all for the sake of insidious economic growth.

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We have been fighting alongside local iwi, Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) and numerous others against seabed mining for over a decade. We won all the way to the Supreme Court, yet this win is now at risk of being overturned by the Fast Track Bill. This cannot happen under our watch.

Next week from 13-15 March, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) will be hearing the Trans-Tasman Resources seabed mining re-application at the TSB Hub in Hāwera. We will be standing strongly in support of Ngāti Ruanui and the coalition of groups opposing seabed mining outside the hearing. We are calling on all supporters to come and join us,” says Tuhi-Ao Emily Bailey of Climate Justice Taranaki.

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