News Item

November 2017

New Report - Finding Ecological Justice in New Zealand

The Law Foundation is pleased to announce the release of a report entitled “Finding Ecological Justice in New Zealand”, by Claire Browning. The Foundation-funded report assesses environmental law and injustice in Aotearoa.

The report argues that, objectively, environmental law exists to deliver justice, even while we might not think of it that way. Problematically, instruments such as the Resource Management Act never uses the word “justice”. Claire argues that “we’re in a place where ideological sands are shifting from beneath property, and a law that enlarges individual freedom, to enlarging thought and where social stability rests now in environmental and ecological defence”.

Ultimately, Claire’s report aims to show just how much of our law and logic whether in justice theory, the doctrine of the public trust, environmental human rights, sustainability, even the RMA idea of kaitiakitanga itself is human-centred. It focuses on kaitiakitanga as developed by the Waitangi Tribunal, arguing that not only does this resemble environmental justice claims, it is in kaitiakitanga that we will find ecological justice in Aotearoa.

Through different aspects of the law it looks at recognition, participation and hopes of delivering justice between peoples, generations and sentient and non-sentient others alive in the world.

Claire is a former lawyer and policy analyst, senior advisor to the NZ Law Commission and more recently, environmental advocate.

Further information from Claire’s Environmental Justice blog

Link to research report “Finding Ecological Justice in New Zealand” – read-only
Link to research report “Finding Ecological Justice in New Zealand” – printable version

New Zealand Law Foundation is contributing $40,000 towards this research project