EEZ

The Environmental Protection Agency hearing into seabed mining for phosphate on the Chatham Rise is exposing questions about uncertainty - many big unknowns, including whether the applicant has done its job. If environment groups win this battle, what does it mean for the wider war?

Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser, at depths untried anywhere else in the world.

2012 in review: text of my piece for the Resource Management Journal on the changing legal landscape, and writing loudly on the political wall 

All over the country, on land and at sea, the legal landscape is changing. In pursuit of balance, the National government is rewriting laws that have sustained and built our environment.

The results are good - in parts. Other parts so deeply undermine the precarious balance so far achieved, that they compromise the whole.

In 2012, National Ministers’ environment choices left us 100% poorer - or pooer, in the case of our impure, faecally-contaminated rivers

Three years ago, new to the job, Trade (and former Conservation) Minister Tim Groser said our brand would be built on “world class environmental standards”:

Middle Earth, as my colleague quipped: it’s like that’s what we’re aiming for, one massive hole in the ground. Our legal landscape is changing, with mining in view. It’s not just the EEZ, or the RMA, or the Crown Minerals Act - it’s all of them. The ground is shifting under resource management.

Piece by piece, the National government is rewriting laws that have built our environment. The Crown Minerals Bill completes another piece of the picture - it shows why promises made were false - but that Bill is only an example of the government’s wider work.

The Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill, currently passing through its remaining stages in Parliament, helps Big Oil less than you might think

The Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill, known as the EEZ Bill, is among the most important pieces of legislation being progressed by John Key’s government. Forest & Bird, and everyone who cares about our marine environment, wants to support it.