Cracks in fast-track legislation already

Minister Shane Jones’ decision to step away from a seabed mining project is evidence of the murky waters surrounding the Government’s fast-track legislation. 

“Not Shane Jones, not any one person should be given extraordinary and sweeping powers to rubber stamp projects that threaten our natural resources and put the prosperity of our planet at risk,” says Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson. 

“This fast-track legislation looks set to approve a conveyor belt of climate corrupt projects at the whim of a group of Ministers. All while subverting the democratic processes that ensure decisions are made within the best interests of Aotearoa. 

“Shane Jones has in the past been an ardent supporter of seabed mining. His change in tune that now acknowledges the practice as a threat to the ocean, which better aligns with the views of the fishing lobby, paints a vivid picture of this fast-track legislation’s vulnerability to being captured by corporate interest.

“It is vital that expert advice and the views of affected communities play a pivotal role in decisions of such stature, not industry interests. It is outrageous that under the proposed legislation a Minister could bypass the advice of expert panels, ignore previous rulings from the Environment Court and approve profit-driven environmental vandalism. 

“The climate carelessness of this Government must stop. It is high time that the coalition began prioritising our people and planet over party donors and lobbyists who seem to have hijacked the direction this Government is taking us in.

“The Green Party will continue to fight for the environment and a liveable future for all. Any companies thinking of taking advantage of a fast-track process that shortcuts our democracy and sidesteps the scrutiny of our Parliamentary process should be well aware that a change of Government could result in a loss of consent, possibly without compensation,” says Marama Davidson.