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Open letter to the Coalition government from NZ Scientific Societies

March 25th, 2024

13 March 2024

A group representing thousands of scientists has written to the Cabinet saying the government’s plan for fast tracking consenting is retrograde and values development over the environment. The legislation – which passed its first reading last week – will give three ministers the power to bypass normal consent processes and have the final say on approvals for special infrastructure projects.

A group of ten scientific societies including Birds New Zealand (Ornithological Society of New Zealand), which conduct research in biodiversity say New Zealand’s plants, animals, fungi and ecosystems are globally unique but are also threatened with extinction. In a letter sent to ministers on 13 March, they say the changes will cause further degradation, and mean that development projects will be at the whim of political decision-making and ministerial discretion, without appropriate checks and balances. 

Dr Jo Monks is the Vice-President of the New Zealand Ecological Society, a Lecturer in Ecology at the University of Otago, and is the spokesperson for the group.

Link to letter:

Link to press release: