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Fight for nature

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Submission to Parliament's Environment Select Committee

To Parliament’s Environment Select Committee,

The Government’s environmentally destructive ‘Fast-track Approvals Bill’ is the most extreme attack on nature in decades.   

It would give three ministers sweeping powers to approve any bad development they want, no matter how damaging. They could override environmental protections such as the Conservation Act, ignore the advice of their own expert panel, and stop New Zealanders having their say.

I ask you to reject this bill, and: 

  • Remove ministerial override: Decision making should be based on science and evidence, not politics. Ministers should be bound by the decisions of expert panels rather than which special interest groups lobby the hardest. 

  • Protect New Zealanders’ rights: People should be able have input into developments in their communities. This anti-democratic law isn’t needed because the Government can already use existing fast-track procedures for infrastructure projects. 

  • Keep environmental protections: Our climate and our environment are at breaking point, and New Zealand already has the highest proportion of threatened species in the world. To bring back a flourishing natural world, we need decision making to abide by our current conservation and environmental laws, rather than prioritising economic development at any environmental cost. 

  • Remove damaging projects: Coal mines on conservation land, huge dams that flood forests and fish farms in already damaged oceans should not be able to be able to bypass environmental laws, especially if they’ve already been turned down by the courts.  

This bill takes Aotearoa down the wrong track and is a devastating attack on the land, sea and climate.  

This is an individual submission and I do not wish to make an oral submission to the select committee.  

Conservation area: