紐國想在森林公園蓋水壩 最高法院裁定違法 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

紐國想在森林公園蓋水壩 最高法院裁定違法

建立於 2017/07/14
摘譯自2017年7月6日ENS紐西蘭,威靈頓報導;姜唯編譯;蔡麗伶審校

紐西蘭最高法院以3比2的表決結果裁定,公有森林公園和其他保育地不得用於發展私人利益。

事情源自於霍克灣區域投資公司(Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd)計劃在馬卡羅羅河興建儲水壩,以灌溉北島中霍克灣的農地。這座水壩會淹沒瓦希尼森林公園22公頃的土地,包含稀有濕地和脆弱物種棲地。

該投資公司向保育部提議,用瓦希尼森林公園旁147公頃的私有放牧地交換公園內的22公頃土地。因此,保育部決定降級瓦希尼森林公園這22公頃土地的保育地位,使這樁「交換」能順利進行。

紐西蘭瓦希尼森林公園(Ruahine Forest Park)。圖片來源:Forest & Bird
紐西蘭瓦希尼森林公園(Ruahine Forest Park)。圖片來源:Forest & Bird

2016年8月,紐西蘭皇家森林與鳥保護協會(Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand)對保育部的降級決定提出異議。訴訟進入高等法院時,法官裁定保育部可以取消森林公園的保育地位。但是到了上訴法院,多數法官決議擱置保育部的決策。

保育部長巴瑞(Maggie Barry)和霍克灣區域投資公司試圖在最高法院扭轉局勢,但最高法院最終判定保育部無權取消瓦希尼森林公園土地的保育地位。

紐西蘭最高法院裁定,紐西蘭保育部將瓦希尼森林公園部分土地與私人企業交換的行為已經違法。判決書指出:「該項計畫預計動用的原民土地的確具有國家級的生態價值。」

紐西蘭最高法院判決書 by teia on Scribd

森林與鳥協會執行長海格(Kevin Hague)稱最高法院的裁決是紐西蘭森林公園和保育土地的重大勝利。「紐西蘭人努力為後代爭取保育土地,現在有了法律的背書,更能保護保育地免受私人開發的威脅。」海格說。

「最高法院已經確認,森林公園屬於紐西蘭全體人民,受保育法保護。」海格說。

不過這件事尚未結束,紐西蘭政府打算修法,推翻最高法院的判決。

紐西蘭瓦希尼森林公園(Ruahine Forest Park)。圖片來源:Forest & Bird
紐西蘭瓦希尼森林公園(Ruahine Forest Park)。圖片來源:Forest & Bird

巴瑞說:「我們將研議如何修法,確保能夠透過交換土地,改善保育結果。向最高法院提出上訴的目的不是為了確認Ruataniwha水壩是否能夠繼續興建,而是要釐清最高法院和上訴法院判決的歧異。」

「過去30年來,我們都相信法律允許用低保育價值的土地交換高保育價值的土地。最高法院認定保育部長不能依全面性的考量做決策,影響層面相當廣泛,現在我們必須循此裁決工作。」部長說,「我關心的是,如何管理公共保護用地才能達到最好的保育效果。」

紐西蘭瓦希尼森林公園(Ruahine Forest Park)。圖片來源:Forest & Bird
紐西蘭瓦希尼森林公園(Ruahine Forest Park)。圖片來源:Forest & Bird

New Zealand Supreme Court Blocks Dam in Forest Park
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, July 6, 2017 (ENS)

New Zealand’s publicly owned forest parks and other conservation lands cannot be disposed of for private development interests, the country’s highest court ruled today.

In a 3-2 decision, the Supreme Court confirmed that the Minister of Conservation acted illegally by trying to make part of Ruahine Forest Park available for exchange to a dam company, which would flood it.

The ruling blocks the proposed Ruataniwha water storage dam on the Makaroro River planned by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd for irrigation of farmlands in Central Hawke’s Bay on the North Island.

The dam would inundate 22 hectares of Ruahine Forest Park containing rare wetlands and vulnerable species.

In August 2016, the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand, known as Forest & Bird, successfully challenged a Department of Conservation decision to downgrade the conservation status of those 22 hectares of the Ruahine Forest Park, so they could be swapped for private land and flooded.

The company proposed to the Minister of Conservation that the 22 hectares of forest park be exchanged for a privately owned block of 147 hectares, the Smedley land, adjacent to the Ruahine Forest Park and currently being grazed.

The decision of the Director-General to revoke the special protection of the land so this swap could go ahead was upheld in the High Court, but in August 2016 it was set aside by majority decision in the Court of Appeal.

Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry, together with Hawkes Bay Regional Investment Company, sought to overturn that decision in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Forest & Bird, deciding that the Minister of Conservation was not entitled to revoke the special conservation status of Ruahine Forest Park land.

Forest & Bird Chief Executive Kevin Hague called the decision “a major victory” for all of New Zealand’s forest parks and protected conservation lands.

“New Zealanders have fought for generations to defend our conservation land and now we have legal confirmation that are protected from private development interests.”

In its ruling, the Supreme Court recognized ecological advice that concluded, “There is no doubt, therefore, that the areas of indigenous habitat which are subject to the proposal contain significant ecological values within a national context.”

“The Supreme Court has confirmed that our forest parks belong to the people of New Zealand and are protected by the Conservation Act,” said Hague.

But the Supreme Court decision is not the end of the matter for the New Zealand government, which has indicated it is prepared to change the law to overturn today’s ruling.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry said, “We will now look at changing the law to ensure we can continue to improve conservation outcomes by having the ability to make land swaps where the outcome would be a win for conservation.”

“The appeal to the Supreme Court was not about whether the Ruataniwha Dam should go ahead. It was about obtaining clarity after differing and split decisions from the High Court and the Court of Appeal,” said Barry.

“For the past 30 years we all believed that the legislation allowed the swap of a low value piece of conservation land for a piece of land with higher conservation values. The Supreme Court finding that the Director General cannot consider that broader picture has far reaching implications and we will now be working through the effects of that,” the minister said.

Barry said, “My concern is to manage public conservation land in a way that will achieve the best possible outcomes for conservation.”

※ 全文及圖片詳見:ENS

作者

蔡麗伶(LiLing Barricman)

In my healing journey and learning to attain the breath awareness, I become aware of the reality that all the creatures of the world are breathing the same breath. Take action, here and now. From my physical being to the every corner of this out of balance's planet.

姜唯

如果有一件事是重要的,如果能為孩子實現一個願望,那就是人類與大自然和諧共存。