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Ngati Ruanui On Fast Track Ballot

20 May 2024

The Government’s Environmental Select Committee is refusing to engage meaningfully when it matters the most over new fast tracking environmental legislation, says Ngāti Ruanui.

Of the 27,000 submissions made, one of the highest ever submitted about legislation, only 1100 will be given a chance to speak before the committee.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui Trust Tume W’akaae Haimona Maruera said the bill was already critically inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty, and both the Fisheries and Aquaculture Settlements.

“Now, hundreds of people will be barred from speaking against a bill that proposes to strip away public consultation,” he said.

“It is absurd to remove the basic democratic right of being heard by elected politicians. This Government is moving to a state of dictatorship.

“In our ro’e we have seen tremendous support for our fight against seabed mining off the Taranaki coast. And our decade-long kaupapa will not be silenced in the halls of power by the luck of the draw.”

When Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd suddenly sulked away from their latest bid to gain consent earlier this year, it showed us they were eyeing an opportunity to circumvent the will of the people.

“Make no mistake, this bill goes beyond fast-tracking. This is about offering a golden ticket to a select few, who can bypass environmental checkpoints and independent oversight.

“The possibility one of those golden tickets could be passed to Trans-Tasman Resources is unacceptable to Ngāti Ruanui.

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Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui Trust Kaiw’aka’aere Rachel Arnott said the move would significantly curtail the ability of iwi, and indeed all New Zealanders, to engage meaningfully when it mattered the most.

“Fast tracking anything in the Exclusive Economic Zone, where the hazards are not understood, risks significant environmental harm.

“And with no requirement to hear from all submitters, the committee runs the risk of missing vital information from those with the most to lose.

“Anything worth doing, is worth doing right. And this government is doing it all wrong.”

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