EDS launches appeal for funds to protect our outstanding natural landscapes

EDS launches appeal for funds to protect our outstanding natural landscapes

Help protect our outstanding landscapes

New Zealand’s landscapes define us.  They are precious to our national identity and provide the offering that drives the tourist industry, now our biggest export earner. But they are vulnerable, and incremental development is destroying them.

EDS has long been a champion of landscape protection, working behind the scenes to ensure that regional and district plans protect these special areas. It’s a tough demanding task and generating the resources to do the job is a struggle for EDS.

Sometimes there are very special, truly iconic areas that are threatened and we have to take urgent legal action to protect them.  In the past it has been places like the outer Marlborough Sounds that was threatened by expansion of salmon farming. 

Now two of New Zealand’s most sensitive landscapes are under threat.

The Mackenzie Country is one of them. The tussock grasslands of that high altitude intermontane basin are featured in tourist promotions and have nationally and internationally significant ecological values.  This dryland landscape is in danger of being changed forever by the voracious spread of green circles and pivot irrigators.

The Resource Management Act obliges councils to protect such places, but Mackenzie District Council is not enforcing a key rule in its plan. So we are challenging the Council’s position with urgent Declaration proceedings filed in the Environment Court. If successful, we’ll slow things down and create a window of time to get a proper planning framework in place for the Mackenzie Country.  And to achieve that we are engaged in a separate Environment Court appeal aimed at strengthening plan protections - but it’ll take months to complete.

In the meantime consents for pivot irrigators are being issued at an alarming rate and the conservation opportunities are being foreclosed before our eyes. We must get the Council to stop the gold-rush of consents that are exploiting a legal loophole.

To do this we urgently need your support to save the Mackenzie Country.

The Coromandel Peninsula is another outstanding landscape that is under threat by a weak plan that severely limits the areas to be protected. There is pressure from Landowner Rights groups that want weaker controls than even the Council has proposed.  We think the decisions version of the plan is unlawful and fails to give effect to section 6 RMA obligations, which set out environmental bottom lines.

To ensure this special area that is so important to many people is protected, we have filed an appeal in the Environment Court and will be seeking outcomes that will protect the outstanding coastline of the Peninsula from bad development.

We have a great team of lawyers and expert witnesses working on both of these cases, all of whom are giving their time at heavily discounted or pro bono rates. We have also received some limited support from the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund which helps, but it is not enough.  We need more funding to do the job well. 

Please help us! Your donation to these very important appeals will help us with tangible and current efforts to save these two highly valued parts of our country.

Donations to EDS are tax deductible. You can support EDS in any of these ways:

1. Donate online now here with your credit card via our secure online system, indicating which case (or cases) you wish to support.

2. Complete the attached form and return it to us with your donation.

3. Set up a regular donation via your bank. Our bank details are on the attached form. Complete the form and return it to us to ensure you receive your tax receipt.

Together we can make a difference!

OPEN A PDF VERSION OF THIS POST HERE.

 

 

Last updated at 11:30AM on December 6, 2016