Not satisfied that a recent Supreme Court ruling upheld an earlier Court of Appeal decision that the Department of Conservation does not have the authority to "revoke" the conservation status of 22 ha of forest park land so it can be handed over to the Ruataniwha dam scheme and flooded by the lake, the corrupt National Government proposes to change the law to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that conservation land cannot be grabbed by developers.
This is corruption at the highest levels. If I don’t get want I want I will bully you until I do.
The land is protected by a special conservation status. What part of this is difficult to understand?
The decision is a blow for the proposed Ruataniwha dam – a major irrigation scheme planned for Central Hawke's Bay – but was also hailed by environmental groups for setting a wider precedent.
The Ruataniwha scheme involves damming a river in the foothills of the Ruahine ranges to create a 7km long storage lake capable of irrigating about 25,000 hectares of farmland in the nearby Ruataniwha catchment.
DoC had agreed to swap the land for 170ha of nearby farmland which is said was of greater conservation value.
Forest & Bird an environmental advocacy group, which mounted last year's successful Court of Appeal challenge, said the land-swap would have set a precedent enabling any forest park land to be grabbed by developers.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry said the Government had long believed the law allowed DoC to make land-swaps if it ended up with land that had higher conservation values.
"The Supreme Court finding that the Director-General cannot consider that broader picture has far-reaching implications and we will now be working through the effects of that," Barry said.
This is as bad as it gets and shows we need to change the government.
If the government stoops this low to get their way they will face some stiff opposition.
The government should be protecting our land, not offering it away for some hair brained scheme. Our public conservation estate was inherited by DoC from land previously administered by the Wildlife Service, Forest Service and Lands and Survey Department. Along with this came a statutory obligation to manage such public land for conservation purposes, which includes recreation. Just who does Ms Barry think she is – above the land of our land?
It seems to me that Bill English has just disqualified himself and his government from another term. He thinks he still has a mandate to determine the environmental future of this country and to trade it off for a fistful of dollars. One of the five faces of mission is to care for our environment not caring for the expansion of the economy
This government is hell bent on destroying our inshore fishery and the environment and has ignored sustainability and long term stewardship of our resources while widening the gap between those with and those without and
Is there any way to contest the law change? A petition would surely get a good backing. More and more people are waking up to the realisation that our environment needs caring for, and now this has happened it puts ammo in our guns!
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