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Report No. 186

The Environment Court's work includes:

(1) issue of directions authorizing public works such as energy projects, hospitals, schools, prisons, sewage works, refuse landfills, fire-stations, major roads and bypasses; and also major private project.- for example, dairy, factories, tourist resorts, timber-miles and shopping centers.

(2) Classification of water, water permits for dams and diversions, taking of geothermal fluids, discharges from sewerage works, underground mines; maximum and minimum levels of lakes and flows of rivers, and minimum quality standards; and water conservation orders.

(3) Land sub-division approvals and conditions, development levies, car-parking contributions, reserve contributions, development levy fund distribution, road upgrading contributions, regional roads, limited access to roads and stopping roads.

(4) Environmental effects of prospecting, exploration and mining, including underground, open pit and alluvial mining. (5) Enforcement proceedings (including interim enforcement orders, declarations about the legal status of environmental activities and instruments, existing and proposed, and appeals against abatement notices.)

Some of the issues that arise before the N.Z. Environment Court are:

(1) Water and hydrothermal resources, including use for electricity generation.

(2) Levying and distribution of public funds (reserves and development levies).

(3) The physical environment, including the coast, bush, landform, lakes, rivers, productive soil.

(4) Noise environment and cost of protecting the environment from noise nuisance.

(5) Public safety, e.g. bulk LPG installations, exposure to earthquake risk, flooding, erosion.

(6) Mining in reserves, developments in coastal environment, regional planning.

(7) Social issues including social effects of mining or other industrial projects.

Proposal to Constitute Environment Courts Back

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