Fast Track Bill Threatens Democracy and Environment Says NZFFA

Special Report

A nationwide sports fishing and environmental advocacy, the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers has told a parliamentary select committee that the Fast Track Approvals Bill threatens both New Zealand’s  environment and democracy.

“ We strongly oppose the Fas tTrack Development Bill.  It undermines the democratic traditions that define our nation.  And it threatens our ecological heritage and national identity,” said Federation president Casey Cravens in presenting the organisation’s submission. “Intergenerational fairness is the concept behind our modern idea of sustainability.  What this means is today’s generation can’t wipe out our collective natural heritage before the next generation gets their turn.”

The NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers objects strongly to the proposed law because it violates that sacred principle.

Dealing with the democracy aspect, Casey Cravens said the bill leads down a path lacking balance, transparency and evidence.

Insider Trading?

“At the very least it creates the appearance of insider trading,” he added.

It was questionable whether the bill was required, in the light of the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal both describing New Zealand as one of the most business-friendly countries on Earth.  

“Yet Yale ranks New Zealand a miserable 129th out of 180 countries in biodiversity protection”.

The bill sets up an autocratic process that excludes science and democracy from policy.  

“World War two dictator Mussolini defined fascism as the merger of state and corporate power.  That’s where this fast-track bill takes New Zealand.”

WCOs and Nitrate Levels

The NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers as an advocacy for trout and salmon fishing for recreational and tourist anglers and conservation, expressed deep concerns about the Fast Track Approval bill’s potential to degrade the public’s rivers, lakes, and springs.  

“Our strongest values are pure source water and wilderness.  We’ll defend the Water Conservation Orders – akin to national park protection – and insist on bottom lines on nitrates until the bitter end.”

New Zealand is globally recognised for pristine landscapes and a supposed commitment to environmental preservation. 

“Our 100% Pure New Zealand brand should be more than merely a slogan; it’s a reflection of our values and a promise we make to the world,” said Casey Cravens. Trashing the Environment

“How can we reconcile our national brand with actions trash the land and water and kill endangered species?” 

Prior to COVID, tourism was New Zealand’s top export earner, generating $40.9 billion to the country with New Zealand’s trout fishing attracting many international tourist anglers.

Casey Cravens questioned the credibility of the three ministers – Shane Jones, Chris Bishop and Simeon Brown –  who would have virtual sole power to decide irrespective of input from a politically appointed panel, citing political donations from corporate fishing companies and other past associations. 

“The bill attacks the rule of law and decades of legal precedent.  This is constitutionally radical.  This bill has the gall to tell the Environment Court, the High Court and the New Zealand judiciary, as well as regional councils that have drafted land and water plans that three Wise Men know better,” he said..  

“This fast-track bill is a highway to hell.  Make a U-turn while you can,” he urged the select committee. “This policy recalls the centralised planning of Muldoon’s Think Big, which was Soviet in nature.”  


NZFFA president Casey Cravens (left) and Dr. Peter Trolove, immediate past NZFFA president at Parliament

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4 Responses to Fast Track Bill Threatens Democracy and Environment Says NZFFA

  1. Jack Tuhawaiki says:

    This bill if it becomes law will eliminate the select committee system. The select committee is the only avenue for the people to make input.
    The three coalition government parties should take special note of Abraham Lincoln’s view that “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.”
    Well done by the Federation of Freshwater anglers

  2. Frank Schumaker says:

    I’m long enough of tooth to remember Muldoon and the National Development Conference and Think Big. NZFFA president Casey Cravens was so correct in saying “This policy recalls the centralised planning of Muldoon’s Think Big, which was Soviet in nature.”
    If there is any political acumen in the coalition government, it will back off this bill. Twenty thousand protesting in Auckland and big numbers elsewhere in protest, is a stern warning to the government.
    The bill opens the way to corruption and corporate power. Corporates don’t give a damn about the people. Their sole motive is maximum profits.

  3. Joseph O'Toole says:

    Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what flavour you’ll get is a quote something like that. The people got rid of an authoritarian Labour led government propped up by the social engineering Greens and the activist Te Pati Maori party.
    I never expected the coalition government of National, NZ First, ACT to be of the dictatorial flavour. I’m really angry at this bill.

  4. Valerie says:

    Let’s hope the select committee listens otherwise if the fast track bill continues, this could be their last! It’s not done yet and should be thrown out. Well done Casey and Peter.

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