Fuseworks Media

A warning for those looking to fast-track the climate crisis – Marama Davidson

The Green Party is warning companies and corporations against capitalising on the Government’s fast-track legislation after project applications opened today.

“Anybody looking to use this fast-track legislation as a vehicle to shortcut environmental safeguards and profit from the exploitation of our natural resources should be warned that a change in Government could result in a drastic change in fortune for them,” says Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson.

“The Green Party is steadfast in its opposition to this legislation and its stance towards those looking to use it to fast track the degradation of our environment.

“The coalition government’s egregious abuse of process for this legislation upends decades of certainty for resource consents. Introducing projects after the Select Committee has finished considering the Bill, with no public input at all, is an absolute travesty and showcases their disdain for democratic processes.

“To companies and corporations thinking of taking advantage of this shadowy process that bypasses normal Parliamentary process and scrutiny, Iwi consultation and engagement, expert environmental tribunals, local authorities and/or the courts, let me be clear: if consents for your project dodge proper scrutiny now, you should expect them to be reviewed next time there is a change in government.

“This Government’s track record on all things climate is shambolic. However, this fast-track framework could empower the coalition to cause far greater damage, unleashing copious amounts of oil and gas upon the already raging climate crisis.

“Under this framework, ministers could effectively rubber stamp projects on a whim, subverting standard procedure to ensure there is a steady stream of projects that keep the pockets of their wealthy mates filled to the brim. Decisions of this stature, that could be felt across generations, warrant far greater scrutiny.

“We have already seen how vulnerable this legislation is to corporate capture following Minister Jones’ decision to step back from a seabed mining project after being caught between the competing interests of his friends in the fishing industry and mates in the mining lobby.

“It is vital that expert advice and the views of affected communities play a pivotal role in decisions of this nature, 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 Green Party will continue to call out this Government for what it is: a coalition of cowards frightened to fight climate change,” says Marama Davidson.