Watchdog Calls on PM and Conservation Minister to Protect Conservation Land

Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki is today sending an Open Letter of more than 3100 people to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Conservation calling on them to “stop the tail wagging the dog” and rein in the Minister of Resources and to dump the draconian Fast Track Bill.

The new Fast Track Bill being introduced into the House today is an attack on the environment nationally and for us it’s a direct threat to the conservation land in the Hauraki/Coromandel area. The Bill is being championed by a Minister from NZ First and the Prime Minister must not let this extremely undemocratic fast track law that reflects a bias against public participation in resource decision making, pass through the House. 

There are many projects which failed the test of proper scrutiny which the Bill could resuscitate at the expense of both process and the environment.

In our area the huge Oceana Gold proposal to undermine Wharekirauponga is already in the consent application process, but we cannot guarantee the Government will ensure this will still be heard in court.

We have been told today that an expert panel can set conditions on projects but cannot say no to those projects.  But we have heard the promises to push mining without restraint and it sounds like all bets are off. 

What we heard today about the checks and balances on toxic activities like mining, which are already poorly managed, is a promise to dump them. It appears the Prime Minister has so far failed to stand up to his coalition partner who is hell bent on shutting us out of the decisions and privileging an industry that is a minor part of the economy and a major risk and cost to future generations?

It’s appalling when the world is in a climate and biodiversity crisis that the Government will support a backward looking and dictatorial approach to mining conservation land, seabed mining, rivers, and water quality and more.

We demand Tama Potaka and Chris Luxon speak up for these precious resources today.