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Government’s new fast-track consenting regime

The Environmental Defence Society is critical of the government’s intention to establish a new fast-track consenting regime, as outlined in this letter, sent by the Minister for Resource Management Reform to stakeholders on 31 January.

The new stand-alone law will enable Ministers to approve projects that are locally, regionally or nationally significant. ‘Consenting’ Panels will have limited ability to decline projects. The new law will operate separately from the Resource Management Act and create a one-stop-shop for approvals under other unnamed legislation too, including, potentially, the Conservation Act. 

EDS CEO Gary Taylor says, “This is a war on our natural world. It has the potential for environmentally destructive projects to proceed at haste, with minimal environmental assessment, transparency and public involvement.

“We cannot have law that enables private developers to lobby Ministers for approvals, especially when everything seems to be on the table, including coal and gold mining (deep sea and in the Conservation estate), open ocean aquaculture, large scale wind projects, industrial solar farms, housing developments, infrastructure and just about anything you can think of.”