What does this Government have against the environment

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, April 24th, 2024 - 5 comments
Categories: chris bishop, climate change, Environment, farming, science, Shane Jones, sustainability, uncategorized - Tags:

It is almost as if the environment was really cruel to senior members of the Government when they were kids. But whatever the reason this Government appears to be intent on wrecking the local environment with a degree of vengeance and stupidity not seen before.

Evidence of this is clear to see.

First up there was passing under urgency the repeal of the clean car discount thereby committing us to have more gas guzzlers enter the country’s car fleet.

There was also repurposing of the Carbon Fund for tax cuts.

There was also Shane Jones claiming that the previous Government’s approach to climate change was hysterical, that mining of the DoC estate including Stewardship land would be fast tracked and that “if there is a mining opportunity and it’s impeded by a blind frog, goodbye, Freddy“.

Not to mention getting ready to resume drilling for oil and mining for coal.

There is also the Fast-track Projects Bill which gives three ministers unprecedented power to allow pretty well anything. If you want to drill Mount Aorangi for gold then put your application in. Even if something was prohibited previously or is in a World Heritage Area the way the bill is drafted allows the Ministers to grant approval.

The bill is that bad the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, who is also a former National Party MP, has urged the Government to scrap the role of Ministers as decision makers, limit eligible projects to those that provide significant public benefits, elevate environmental considerations and exclude previously declined or prohibited activities from the process.

And the Auditor General has urged changes to include requirements for better managing conflicts of interest. All those donors to the major parties also making application for their projects to be included in schedule 2a has a definite whiff of corruption about it.

There are also the attacks on public transport and cycleways.

Already there is a long list of crappy policy decisions being made which will have an adverse effect on the environment.

To add to this list of monstrosities we now have news that the Government will be moving to unwind reforms made by the previous government to improve water quality standards basically because their farmer mates asked for it.

From Radio New Zealand:

Farming, mining and other industrial regulations are being scrapped or amended under the government’s first changes to the Resource Management Act.

The changes include revision of stock exclusion, winter grazing, Te Mana o te Wai, mining consenting, and suspension of Significant Natural Area requirements.

RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop announced the government’s plan in a statement today, highlighting five changes the government expected to introduce in its legislation due to be introduced to Parliament in May and passed by the end of the year.

He said the government was aiming to “reduce the regulatory burden on resource consent applicants and support development in key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries”.

The changes will be pushed through quickly. They include the following:

  • Repealing intensive winter grazing regulations,
  • Removing low-slope map from stock exclusion regulations,
  • Suspending requirement for councils to identify new Significant Natural Areas for three years,
  • Resource consents will no longer need to demonstrate accordance with Te Mana o te Wai heirarchy of obligations, during the review of the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management,
  • Coal mining consenting pathways are to be re-aligned with other mining activities in the National Policy Statements for Indigenous Biodiversity and Freshwater Management, and the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater.

The changes, like earlier changes such as setting up an “independent” panel to yet again review the 2050 methane targets, makes you wonder if the Government writing to Fonterra and asking if it had any projects that it wanted fast tracked was such a good thing. The Government has done the bidding of farmers every other time farmers have demanded something. One wonders what farmer demanded attrocities await us if and when the Fast-track Projects Bill is passed.

All of this behaviour shows a complete disdain for the environment. Worsening environmental standards and a weakend response to our greenhouse gas reduction obligations are inevitable.

5 comments on “What does this Government have against the environment ”

  1. Everything.

    In the world of Shane Jones, Chris Bishop and Simeon Brown, the environment is to be exploited.

    Prove me wrong.

  2. Ad 2

    +100 Mickey

    The entire centre and left united and marched for climate and the environment in 2018.

    Only needs Hipkins and Chloe to talk to start it again.

    Pick up the phone people.

  3. Hunter Thompson II 3

    Like all governments, they'll fix the environment as soon as they've fixed the economy.

    So don't worry folks, it's on the list.

  4. mac1 4

    A farmer rep spoke on TV saying that good farmers would see bad practices happening and tap the offender on the shoulder. All that was needed!

    Like that's happening now. There's no pollution, destruction of habitat, toxic chemicals, animal cruelty, and all the rest of it because our farmer friends are out there being the environment police right now.

    And there's no crime. There's no family abuse. Everybody's paying their taxes. Because we're all busy looking after our neighbours and the planet.

    And I thought it was the green, hippy, woke, virtue signalling socialists who were the ones out of touch with the real world…….

    Right?

  5. Cui Bono 5

    Here’s an example of the perception problem with the Fast Track Bill.

    Rolleston Industrial Developments (RID) is directed by Timothy, Philip, and Andrew Carter, and affiliated with the Carter Group. Last year RID’s application to develop a 160 hectare, 850 home, subdivision near the Canterbury village of Ohoka was rejected because it was not adequately served by public transport or infrastructure. If built it would increase vehicle movements along narrow, unsuitable country roads by 12,000 per day. The numerous opponents to the plan included the Waimakariri District Council, the Christchurch City Council and government departments.

    Now that cabinet’s committee of three can override the approvals process they have shoulder tapped the Carter Group for fast-track consent. It is a matter of record that the Carters are related to National Minister and Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey, and that Philip Carter donated $50,000 to the National Party in 2023.

    Most Cantabrians know that the Carter family have done much for Christchurch, especially by underpinning the city’s earthquake recovery. Similarly, few doubt Matt Doocy’s commitment to his community, or that he is on record opposing the original development when he was in opposition and out of cabinet.

    However, perception is a powerful thing. Should RID’s proposed development now be steamrolled through despite strong opposition and against expert advice, the perception that money and family connections can buy political patronage and commercial advantage will be hard to dispel. New Zealand has had a reputation for being one of the least corrupt countries in the world. Such reputations are easy to lose and hard to regain. Something the Carters and cousin Matt might want to consider if the opportunity comes for them to be associated with, and benefiting from, legislation that runs roughshod over consultation, district plans, public good, and the environment.

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