Water wrongs

October 23, 2012

At 10 this morning the High Court will hear the Maori Council’s pleas for an injunction against the government’s plans to sell a minority share in Mighty River Power.

Is  this motivated by:

A) a principled belief that Maori own water.

B) politics.

C) the hope of more money for Maori.

D) the certainty of more money for lawyers.

E) ?


WDC consents for Mackenzie dairying quashed

July 30, 2010

The High Court has quashed resource consents and certificates of compliance which the Waitaki District Council issued for three cubical dairying operations in the Mackenzie Basin.

The Environmental Defence Society, which brought the action, said:

  “Clearly there has been a failure of public policy at all levels. The Government has failed to provide national guidance; the regional council has failed to identify nationally important landscapes; and the two district councils have failed to develop coherent and effective district plans.

“There is now a real window of opportunity to prepare a long-term Strategic Plan for the area. In our view that should be led by the local community but both Environment Canterbury and the Ministry for the Environment should be involved. It needs to look at the landscape, natural values and social and economic development options for the Mackenzie Country over the next 25 or more years.

The court quashed the consents becasue of an error of process, it did not consider the merits or otherwise of the case.

I wonder if opponents to the application realise the applicants could run the same number of beef cattle without having to apply for any consents at all because pastoral farming is a permitted activity?

Resource consent was needed not for the number of animals but the type of farming. Dairying required the construction of housing and disposal of effluent. Neither of these would apply for free range beef cattle.


Property rights 1 government 0

October 31, 2008

The High Court decision against the Crown’s attempt to transfer land occupied under pastoral lease to the Department of Conservation is a victory for farmers and property rights.

High Court judgement has ruled against the Crown for reneging on a deal to offer a special lease to a group of high country farmers.

In 2003 the Commissioner of Crown Lands (CCL) decided to grant a special lease on the expiry of a pastoral occupation licence to the group, known as the Soldiers’ Syndicate.

In 2005 the CCL changed his mind and decided to designate the land, comprising 4,400 hectares in the Hawkdun and Ida ranges near Ranfurly in Otago, as a conservation area. The syndicate appealed to the High Court and was vindicated by the decision released yesterday (30 October).

High Country Accord Chairman Ben Todhunter said:

“This is one of three court cases where high country farming families are defending their legal rights against the Crown, or Crown entities.

“Basically, you have a government determined to convert tussock grasslands that have been grazed by farmers for generations into high country parks and reserves. Because the government hasn’t been able to achieve this on the scale it wants through good faith bargaining, ministers and the agencies that report to them, have been abusing legal processes.”

The second case, challenging the government’s decision to charge farmers for amenity values, is being held in Dunedin. The ODT reports on it here, here and here.

The third case is a challenge to property rights by Fish & Game which contends that pastoral leases do not allow farmers to restrict access to their land.


Fairfax not in contempt

October 10, 2008

High Court judge Tony Randerson and senior Judge Warwick Gendell have dismissed charges  of contempt of court laid against Fairfax Media over publishing transcripts of secret police recordings in relation to last year’s terror raids in the Ureweras.

Bomber comments on this at Tumeke!


EFA Opponents’ Court Bid Fails

June 21, 2008

The bid for a judicial review of the Attorney General’s decision not to raise BIll of Rights issues in the EFA when it was considered by Parliament, has been struck out by the High Court.

Update: Kiwiblog has a fuller report and response.


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