Fast-Track Approvals Bill

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Open letter to the Coalition government from NZ Scientific Societies

Postby Michael Szabo » Fri Apr 19, 2024 7:06 am

The deadline for submissions on the Fast-Track Approvals Bill is midnight tonight. You can make a quick submission now via these links:
https://www.forestandbird.org.nz/petiti ... for-nature
https://petition.act.greenpeace.org.nz/ ... submission
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Open letter to the Coalition government from NZ Scientific Societies

Postby Michael Szabo » Fri Apr 19, 2024 4:17 pm

The deadline for submissions on the Fast-Track Approvals Bill is midnight tonight. You can make a quick submission now via these links:
https://www.forestandbird.org.nz/petiti ... for-nature
https://petition.act.greenpeace.org.nz/ ... submission
You can join Birds New Zealand here: https://www.birdsnz.org.nz/membership/join-now/
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Open letter to the Coalition government from NZ Scientific Societies

Postby Michael Szabo » Mon Apr 22, 2024 12:18 pm

At least two businesses invited to apply for fast-track consents have donated to the National party, says Labour Party - RNZ

"Labour is warning that allowing just 3 ministers the last word on fast-tracking infrastructure projects opens them up to accusations of bias, especially when political donations might muddy the waters.

Environment spokesperson Rachel Brooking said they had identified at least two businesses on the government's list of organisations invited to apply for fast-tracked consents, which have donated to the National party."

Link to RNZ news report: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/514 ... ays-labour
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Thanks to everyone who made a submission

Postby Michael Szabo » Tue Apr 23, 2024 4:22 pm

Thanks to everyone in this forum who made a submission on the government's proposed Fast-Track Approvals Bill.

More than 15,000 people used the online submissions form that Greenpeace set up and more than 13,000 people used the similar online submissions form that Forest & Bird set up.

That's an impressive number of people given the time allowed for submissions by the government was just a couple of weeks rather than the usual several months.
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Fast Track Approvals Bill

Postby Michael Szabo » Thu May 09, 2024 10:50 am

Forest & Bird has joined with Communities Against Fast Track (CAFT), WWF New Zealand, Greenpeace Aotearoa, Coromandel Watchdog, and Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) to announce a ‘March for Nature’ on Saturday 8 June in Auckland to oppose the proposed new Fast-Track Approvals Bill. It starts at 1pm in Aotea Square on Queen Street:
https://www.facebook.com/forestandbird/ ... LEGM3YT8Vl
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Re: Fast-Track Approvals Bill

Postby Michael Szabo » Wed May 22, 2024 7:45 am

RNZ reports today that Taranaki National MP David McLeod received undeclared donations including one for $10,000 from Phil Brown, a businessman with shareholdings in seabed mining company Trans-Tasman Resources which wants to apply to mine the seabed off the Taranaki coast under the Fast-Track Approvals Bill - a bill which David McLeod had oversight of as chair of the Environment Select Committee.

Mr McLeod was stood down from that role yesterday by the PM.

Link: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programm ... ng-ft-bill
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Re: Fast-Track Approvals Bill

Postby Michael Szabo » Fri May 24, 2024 9:42 am

Fast Track Approval Bill: Government watchdogs seek substantial curbs on ministers' powers - RNZ

Two independent government watchdogs are recommending changes to the new Fast Track Approval Bill so conflicts of interest can be managed and the natural environment can be better protected.

In two separate reports, the Auditor-General and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment have urged the Environment Select Committee, which is currently reviewing the legislation, to consider changes to the decision-making process laid out in the new legislation.

The bill in its current form would give three ministers the ability to green-light infrastructure projects like roads, dams and mines, regardless of the risk to biodiversity, or if they have previously been denied consents by the courts.

But the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton said the role of ministers as decision-makers should be scrapped.

Rather than allowing any project to be eligible to be fast-tracked, Upton's report recommended "limiting eligible projects to those that provide significant public benefits".

In addition, he recommended environmental considerations be elevated, and the role of the minister for the environment in the process be restored.

It should also exclude previously declined or prohibited activities from the fast-track process. Currently, the bill would allow those decisions to be overridden.

Meanwhile, the auditor-general is urging the select committee to change the bill to include requirements for better managing conflicts of interest.

Link to RNZ news report: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/514 ... ers-powers
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Re: Fast-Track Approvals Bill

Postby Michael Szabo » Mon May 27, 2024 10:35 am

RNZ reports the new proposed law giving 3 ministers powers to greenlight infrastructure projects has attracted a wave of criticism and responses at the environment select committee:
https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programm ... ic-outrage
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Re: Fast-Track Approvals Bill

Postby Michael Szabo » Tue May 28, 2024 7:33 am

Auckland Council opposes fast-track bill - NZ Herald

Auckland Council is opposing the Government’s proposed legislation to fast-track infrastructure projects, citing insufficient evidence, poor consultation processes and inadequate environmental safeguards.

Councillors Angela Dalton and Richard Hills appeared via video before Parliament’s Environment select committee to make the council’s submission on the Fast-Track Approvals Bill, which had its first reading in the House in March.

Hills and Dalton referenced their concerns regarding the concentration of power, with the former saying experts should make final decisions instead of ministers. Dalton said the ministerial powers were one of the issues that informed the council’s opposition.

“This bill is unsupported by evidence, it is poorly integrated, without adequate environmental safeguards and concentrates too much power in the hands of too few,” she said.

“Auckland Council has always supported fast-tracking RMA [Resource Management Act] approvals for significant infrastructure projects because [of] the importance of infrastructure to society.

“However, previous fast-tracking still considered the environment and was available for only a limited time and for limited matters, so with that in mind, Auckland Council opposes this Fast-Track Approvals Bill.”

Link to story: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/ ... 1716779894
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