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New Zealand Journal of Environmental Law

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Palmer, Dr Kenneth --- "Foreword" [2010] NZJlEnvLaw 1; (2010) 14 NZJEL v

Last Updated: 30 January 2023




Adverse environmental events during the year 2010 have been dominated by the oil rig blowout and substantial pollution of the Gulf of Mexico. This environmental disaster will have an impact on ecology for a significant period. It is a reminder of the risks and vulnerability of engineering systems where the depths and ambitions of exploration go beyond the ordinary practices, and compromise the precautionary principle. On the positive side concerning the Kyoto Convention objectives, Lord Nicholas Stern, on a visit to The University of Auckland in September 2010, put forward the view that despite uncertainties arising out of the earlier Copenhagen Conference, the message of sustainability and commitment towards containment of greenhouse gas emissions is gaining greater acceptance by the major industrial nations. The view was expressed that the United States, China, and India, are taking positive steps to ameliorate increases in emissions, and realistic targets are being addressed.

This issue of the Journal covers a variety of subjects of environmental interest. It commences with an article by the late Judge John Bollard, of the Environment Court in New Zealand, on property rights. The wider contributions of the Judge to sustainable management are acknowledged. Other articles follow which assess the international perspective, including intergenerational equity in national institutions; the problem of common but differentiated responsibilities among developing nations; and the global covenant under the Earth Charter as a way forward. Domestic papers then focus on the interpretation of environmental legislation; the role of indigenous (Maori) communities in the pursuit of sustainability; and adopting a Maori property rights approach to fisheries. Waste management law in New Zealand is assessed. The next two articles acknowledge events in the Canterbury region in New Zealand. One article deals with management of disaster waste and has a postscript on the significant Christchurch earthquake on 4 September 2010. The final legislative note critiques an earlier enactment which replaced elected members on the Canterbury Regional Council with commissioners.

The editor wishes to acknowledge the excellent academic contributions by the respective authors. In relation to production, the skills of Mike Wagg in subediting are acknowledged and those of Amy Tansell of Words Alive for the layout of the Journal. The collegial support of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law and from the academic and general staff of the Law School of The University of Auckland is also acknowledged with appreciation.

Dr Kenneth Palmer


Faculty of Law

The University of Auckland December 2010

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