Ruataniwha scheme deemed unlawful by Supreme Court ruling

The Supreme Court has ruled that New Zealand's publicly owned Forest Parks and other conservation land are safe from being disposed of for private development interests. 

Forest & Bird challenged a deal between the Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Council to acquire part of the protected Ruahine Forest Park so it could be flooded for the $900 million water storage and irrigation project. In its the Supreme Court said the Conservation Act allowed the responsible minister to revoke protected status "only where its intrinsic conservation values no longer warrant such protection". 

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