Tuesday, October 06, 2009

In the ballot XXXIII

Another batch of Member's Bills currently in the ballot. Previous batches are indexed here:

Crown Minerals (Protection of Conservation Land Listed in the Fourth Schedule) Amendment Bill (Metiria Turei): would amend the Crown Minerals Act 1993 to require an Act of Parliament to remove land from the protection of Schedule 4. Land would still be able to be added by a simple Order in Council. This would prevent selective excisions to allow mining, and reflects the current regime for national parks.

Fisheries (Precautionary Approach) Amendment Bill (Kevin Hague): Originally a government bill put forward by Jim Anderton in 2008 and then discharged, this would amend the Fisheries Act 1996 to require decision-makers to take a precautionary approach in decision-making where information is absent, uncertain, unreliable, or inadequate. The most significant effect of this would be to shift decisions on the total allowable catch under the Quota Management System in a more sustainable direction, reflecting the international consensus towards precautionary environmental management contained in a number of international agreements to which New Zealand is a party. It's a sensible measure, but the fishing industry - which thinks that fishing is sustainable until the last fish is caught - hates it.

Resource Management (Requiring Authorities) Amendment Bill (Ruth Dyson): Amends the RMA to tighten the criteria for the granting of requiring authority status (allowing a company to compulsorily acquire land under the Public Works Act) by re-inserting a "public interest" clause. This was originally in the law, but was removed by the Resource Management Amendment Act 1993. Since then there have been several dubious grants of requiring authority status for private profit - most notably in the case of Central Plains Water Ltd for its unsustainable Central Plains Irrigation Scheme.

As usual, I'll have more bills as I acquire them.