- Date published:
10:40 am, November 12th, 2015 - 24 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Conservation, democracy under attack, Mining, national - Tags: democracy under attack, environmental 'protection' agency, Mining, nick smith
One News broke the story:
Exclusive: New Zealand’s guardian of the seas under threat from the Government
The Government is considering changes to the Environmental Protection Authority, after the guardian of the seas turned down two offshore mining applications.
The EPA is responsible for protecting the ocean around New Zealand, and the Government is debating changes to the agency which will decide who gets to prospect for oil and mine offshore.
The EPA recently rejected plans to mine iron ore off the Taranaki coast and a phosphate mining venture in the Chatham Rise.
Currently the EPA chooses the members of its “decision making committees” – experts who spend months deciding whether to allow activities in an area stretching 200 miles out to seas. But the changes would see the Government make the appointments.
Conservationists believe the EPA’s independence is now under threat. “Once you politicise the approval process with a government that is fully committed to pretty unrestricted mining then clearly you are going to get an outcome of more mining and more environmental destruction,” Mr Norman said.
Environmental Minister Nick Smith would not confirm the proposals he’s taking to cabinet. …
See also this Greenpeace press release: Government muzzles environmental watchdog to pave way for mining deals.