The Right to Advocacy

By Professor Chris Kissling

The Christchurch Civic Trust highlights an issue with how the New Zealand Ombudsman decides who can complain about government decisions.

Usually, a person needs to be more affected by a decision than everyone else to make a complaint. But in the UK, the Supreme Court said that when it comes to nature and the environment, anyone who cares about it should be able to complain, even if they’re not personally affected more than others. The Trust wants New Zealand to follow this idea, letting groups that care about the environment and good government rules have a say, even if a decision doesn’t directly hurt them.

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