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Government leaving Kiwis and environment out in the cold

7:55:00 PM Posted by Kinar Timilsina , , , , No comments

Wednesday, 9 April 2014, 11:41 am

Press Release: Green Party / Scoop Info

Government leaving ordinary New Zealanders and environment out in the cold
The Government is making it harder for ordinary New Zealanders to protect the places they care about, the Green Party said today.
“The Environment Minister told officials that she didn’t want Aucklanders to be able to access environmental legal aid for the Auckland Unitary Plan process to try and protect the places they care about,” said Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.
“We need a level playing field so that we get the best outcomes for communities and the environment.
“The Government has consistently weakened our environmental law, suppressed dissenting voices and now is withholding funding for people trying to have their say effectively.
“Environmental legal aid means decision makers are better informed and helps protect the places we care about.
“Community and environmental organisations standing up to protect the places they care about have everything stacked against them. Now the Environment Minister is preventing them accessing the Environment Legal Assistance (ELA) Fund to participate in the hearings on the Auckland Unitary Plan.
“The Government has suppressed the Department of Conservation, which is supposed to be able to stand up for nature, from participating fully in cases like the Ruataniwha Dam. This leaves ordinary New Zealanders and local communities to hold the line when it comes to speaking out on the issues and places we care about.
“In the Board of Inquiry process for Trans Tasman’s seabed mining proposals, community and environmental organisations have also been denied access to the ELA Fund, which the Ministry for the Environment administers.“It’s a David and Goliath battle where ordinary New Zealanders with 


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