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PCE Condemns Govt’s Property Rights Approach To Environmental Protection

Greenpeace Aotearoa says that it’s clear the Government’s approach to environmental policies is actively harming nature after the release of the Going With the Grain report today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE).

The report says that a key problem with the government’s environmental policies is "rooted in the fact that responsibility for environmental management is currently delegated to the owners of individual property while the consequences of many activities are variable, diffuse and catchment-wide."

The Luxon Government has stated numerous times that it plans to replace environmental considerations such as Te Mana o Te Wai, which exist under the Resource Management Act, with a new hierarchy favouring property rights.

Greenpeace Aotearoa spokesperson Sinéad Deighton-O’Flynn says, "This report directly challenges the Luxon Government’s war on nature and makes it clear that their plan to put property rights at the heart of environmental policy is deeply flawed."

"People across Aotearoa have had enough of this Government’s regressive, anti-environment policies. No one wants to see forests and oceans turned into open-cast mines or lakes and rivers turned into sewers. That’s why we’ll be standing up and marching for nature in Auckland on the 8th of June."

Greenpeace, along with organisations such as Forest & Bird, Coromandel Watchdog and Kiwis Against Seabed Mining, has organised a March for Nature in Auckland on the 8th June to protest against the Government’s fast-track bill and other proposed resource management act reforms.

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"This report highlights that not only does an approach focused on property rights not work, it is also more clear than ever that land use in Aotearoa must change. It highlights a need to address the climate and biodiversity crises. And it points to one clear source of pollution that is having detrimental impacts on nature in Aotearoa - the dairy industry," says Deighton-O’Flynn.

"The PCE’s report confirms what we already know: this Government’s approach to environmental protection benefits no one except the very industries that are causing the most pollution. But, as we’ve seen with the large numbers of submitters against the Fast-Track Bill, New Zealanders won’t tolerate it."

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