The Green Party is celebrating a big win for nature today with the Supreme Court ruling that removing protected status from conservation land is permitted only when the conservation values there no longer warrant continued special protection.
“This is a big win for nature, despite the National Government’s best efforts to flood and destroy an important piece of the Ruahine Forest Park,” said Green Party conservation spokesperson Mojo Mathers.
“It was a sad day for the environment when the Minister for Conservation, Maggie Barry, decided to go all the way to the Supreme Court to try to win the right to destroy specially protected conservation land.
“Her role is to protect conservation land, not facilitate its destruction for big irrigation or private development.
“Had the Conservation Minister been successful in her bid, this could have opened the floodgates to private development on conservation land throughout New Zealand.
“Forest & Bird are to be congratulated for standing up for nature and securing this outcome.
“New Zealanders love their parks and wild places and want to see them protected.
“National must not now use this decision as an excuse to change the law,” said Ms Mathers.