Rodney Hide on Morning Report this morning has nailed his colours to the mast . He has come out for restricting the rights of ordinary citizens to appeal decisions of consent panels. Here’s what he said:
Allowing just any Tom Dick and Harry to appeal something [to the environment court] is a recipe for endless debate and dispute by people that are just anti-progress and anti-development.
Well Act and its developer constituents might not like it but some of us care about the physical environment and don’t want every developer to be able to build every abomination they can fund.
Many environmentally destructive developments get given the nod by compliant councils and the Environment Court is the last hope for many community groups and regular citizens (yes those Tom Dick and Harrys that Rodney disparages).
And in a society governed by rule of law, the citizens should be able to appeal the decisions of council hearing panels to the courts. But I guess all Act’s talk about ‘rule of law’ is only when it suits them not when it might stand in the way of making a buck at the expense of the environment.