Last week EDS sent a letter by mail to our database asking for support for two important cases we are involved in: the Mackenzie Country and the Coromandel. Thanks to those who responded positively. We don’t like resorting to traditional fundraising methods but we can’t fight for the environment if we are naïve about such matters! So this is an update on both issues.
We have an urgent hearing before the Environment Court in Christchurch on Friday. These are declaration proceedings aimed at closing a dangerous loophole in the Mackenzie District Council’s plan that is enabling large-scale land conversion to pivot irrigators. These transform the land from the Basin’s tussock grassland to an industrial scale intensive farm, mostly for dairying.
We are also engaged in a medium term plan change aimed at tightening up the assessment of both landscape and ecological impacts of land use change. Those proceedings are scheduled for late January 2017.
And in the longer (but not too long) term, we are seeking changes to the process of tenure review of remaining Crown owned perpetual leases. We believe that tenure review to date has not always followed the law and that the position of Commissioner of Crown Lands is an unaccountable civil servant and an anachronism.
The future of the Mackenzie Country is being decided through these processes. If you can help please make a donation here. If you’ve already done so, thanks!
The other big issue on our books right now is the future planning framework for the Coromandel Peninsula. This is so important! The Peninsula contains some of New Zealand’s most stunning beaches and coastline and EDS is working very hard to protect them.
It’s very pointy-headed legal and planning work but it will determine the future of the district. There are powerful development and landowner rights groups lined up against us but we are fighting hard for the best possible outcomes for the environment.
If you would like to support this project please make a donation here. And again, if you’ve already done so, many thanks indeed!