Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Conservation land is for conserving

Today, the government declined an application to build a hydro power station on conservation land in the Morgan Gorge, near Hokitika. National MPs are complaining about this on Twitter, but if you read David Parker's very thorough decision, the reason the application was declined is clear: because granting it would have been contrary to the Conservation Act. The area in question is a pristine environment and an outstanding natural feature. Allowing the development would have changed its character utterly. Conservation land is held for the purpose of conserving its natural and historic resources, for both their intrinsic values and (where not inconsistent with those) for recreational purposes. The law requires an application to be declined if the proposed activity is contrary to the Act or the purposes for which the land concerned is held. The decline was thus a no-brainer. (And if any of those wailing National MPs disagree, they can always seek a judicial review of the Minister's decision. They won't, because it is very obvious they will lose).

The clear message here is that this isn't a National government which will ignore the law until forced to obey it by the courts. Instead, the law is going to be enforced. Obviously that will upset the orcs, who want to destroy everything for private profit. But they are exactly what the law is there to protect us from. Conservation land is for conserving. That should not be difficult to understand.