The Animal Justice Party Aotearoa New Zealand (AJP) stands firm in its commitment to protecting animals and their habitats, expressing concerns regarding the current Fast-Track Consent Bill. In a letter addressed to the Hon Chris Bishop, Minister for RMA Reform, AJP highlights the potential adverse impacts of the proposed legislation on animal welfare, environmental conservation, and democratic processes.
Karen Singleton, Policy President for AJP, asserts, “The Fast-Track Consent Bill poses a significant threat to the well-being of animals and the integrity of our environment. By bypassing democratic procedures and side-lining public input, this legislation grants unprecedented powers to Ministers, undermining existing environmental and conservation laws.”
Inspired by public letters from environmental advocates Mike Joy and Marnie Prickett, AJP emphasises the importance of upholding Te Mana o te Wai and retaining the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (NPS-FM). “Ensuring the health of our waterways and safeguarding safe drinking water must remain paramount in council decision-making,” Singleton adds. Furthermore, AJP highlights the indirect but critical role of the Resource Management Act (RMA) in protecting animal welfare through the regulation of activities that impact habitats and ecosystems. “Any relaxation of environmental standards under the Fast-Track Consent Bill will have detrimental effects on animal well-being within affected ecosystems,” Singleton explains. “We strongly oppose measures that may perpetuate animal exploitation and suffering, such as the potential expansion of industries like dairy intensification and fish farming.”
In urging the Minister to reconsider the Fast-Track Consent Bill, the AJP reiterates its commitment to responsible environmental stewardship, and advocates for the inclusion of public input and adherence to existing environmental laws.