2014-16 in ProsPect
EDS will address key environmental challenges and promote sensible, fair and workable solutions – whilst ensuring that protection of New Zealand’s outstanding environment remains a bottomline. But we cannot do that without your help!
arrangements for our oceans are primitive and lack a strategic approach. Large scale reform is urgently required. During 2014-16 EDS will continue to ramp up its policy and advocacy work on oceans. Collectively this will cover all aspects of oceans management and will be the biggest piece of policy work we have ever attempted. We have already examined the policy framework for marine mammals protection and marine protected areas. But oil, gas, mining, fishing, aquaculture, shipping and recreational uses all need to be subject to environmental bottom lines that will apply ecological principles to the protection of marine life and will keep our beaches safe. EDS will be working up substantive recommendations for reform in all these areas and across the entire oceans realm. The Oceans Forum will work towards stakeholder agreement on key issues and potential solutions.
The environmental reform agenda, regardless of the outcome of the 2014 election, is expected to gather momentum. The new government will have to make further decisions on freshwater and Resource Management Act reforms. The Environmental Protection Authority’s new responsibilities for consenting oil, gas and mining activities in our Exclusive Economic Zone will continue to expand. Government will begin a new approach to environmental reporting. Hearings on Auckland’s proposed unitary plan will commence and the marine spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf will conclude. And as always, environmental challenges will arise that we don’t even know about yet.
The Land and Water Forum, an EDS initiative, has now completed its substantive work and has recommended a new approach to freshwater management. The Forum’s recommendations are with Government and we are waiting for the progressive roll-out of the reform agenda.
We expect further reforms to unfold during 2015. There have already been a range of procedural improvements identified that are uncontroversial and could have proceeded during 2014, but the Government opted against that approach. The area that is highly contentious is the proposal to amend sections 6 and 7 of the Act and introduce economic considerations alongside the existing environmental ones. That would effectively lower environmental standards across the country and will be strongly resisted by EDS.
New Zealand’s oceans are the fifth largest in the world. They are a hugely precious resource and are critically important to our quality of life and economic welfare. They are under stress from fishing, catchment run-off and the effects of global climate change. There are also new pressures from aquaculture, deepwater oil and gas extraction and mining. But the institutional and regulatory
EDS will continue to liaise with colleagues and stakeholders who were engaged in the Forum and will support the Forum’s recommendations. It is vital that we address freshwater quality as a priority and set limits on nutrient runoff. We also need to ensure that sufficient water remains in rivers and streams to support ecological health. We will seek meaningful national objectives as well as engaging in regional policy statement reviews.
Resource Management Act
2014 - 2016
Planning for Auckland’s future The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan will be subject to mediation and hearings over the next few years. This will be the biggest planning exercise ever attempted in New Zealand and is obviously vital for both Auckland’s and New Zealand’s future. Auckland will continue to expand faster than the rest of the country and accomodating that growth, and allowing for economic development, will place stress on the region’s natural resources.
Gary Taylor is our Executive Director
Raewyn Peart is our Policy Director
Fiona Driver is our General Manager and Conference Organiser
Marie Brown is our Senior Policy Analyst
Nicola de Wit is our Lawyer
Lucy Brake is our Contract Writer
EDS will be a substantive player in the plan-making process and will be focusing its attention on protecting Auckland’s biodversity – both terrestrial and marine, its landscapes and its outstanding coastline.
Publications Late in 2014 EDS will be publishing a major policy report entitled Securing our Future: The protection of indigenous biodiversity in New Zealand. We will also be publishing a new book on the Hauraki Gulf. In 2015 we will be working up a report on options for the protection of biodiversity in development, including biodiversity offsetting and will be commencing work on the next stage of our oceans programme. The intention is to undertake a major review of fisheries management and to assess the extent to which it meets international best practice.
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