Release: Lobbyists riding shotgun with Coalition Government

The Fast Track Approvals Bill shows Ministers’ ears are well and truly taken by lobbyists, says Labour Environment spokesperson Rachel Brooking.

“This Bill hands lobbyists and Ministers the keys to our country without transparency when it comes to our resources. The greed of corporations both foreign and local could reshape New Zealand,” says Rachel Brooking.

“This will make New Zealand a banana republic where a Minister can be lobbied to make a decision and can disregard the interests of the public. We should not decide what happens in New Zealand via lobbyists with fat wallets.

“I’m not sure when Chris Bishop or Shane Jones became environmental experts, or studied the ins and outs of ecology, climate change or health and safety, but the idea of them having final say without the input of experts and communities is frightening.

“The 100-day plan promise to outline projects to be included in the Bill has not been kept and the legislation is incomplete without it.

“Labour had appropriate legislation and processes for both fast track consents and longer-term Resource Management Act reform. Pitching this as a solution for red – or green – tape helps no one except lobby groups. It is not the way forward for New Zealanders, it does not help infrastructure and will not be effective.

“This legislation is not in New Zealand’s economic or environmental interest and could raise questions of legitimacy over these projects in the long term. It has the potential to undermine all of our environmental protections and our international standing as a country that has proper processes for investment decisions.” Rachel Brooking said.

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