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Horizontal and Vertical Integration of Sustainability into Policymaking, Planning and Implementation of Renewable Energy Projects—The New Zealand Model

  • David GrinlintonEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

While sustainable development is now widely accepted as an international normative principle guiding human interaction with the natural environment, it can be little more than an aspirational platitude unless incorporated in a practical and enforceable way in domestic regulation and processes. This paper addresses the vertical and horizontal integration of sustainability into policy-making, planning and decision-making with a particular focus on renewable energy developments. New Zealand is unique in the way it has incorporated the principle of sustainability as an enforceable concept in domestic legislation. The approach incorporates a hierarchical model with an environmental sustainability objective at the apex. This influences policy-making and “macro-planning” at the national and regional levels, which in turn influences lower level planning and operational decision-making. The system is integrated both vertically between different levels of government (central, regional and municipal), and horizontally between central and local government and resource management agencies, corporations, public interest groups and individuals. The system is a result of an exhaustive administrative and law reform process in the late 1980s-early 1990s that restructured central and local government agencies, and implemented major legislative reform. The underlying conceptual model may be described as “integrated environmental management” (IEM). The system has now been in place for 25 years, and has been continually amended and refined in that time. It provides a useful model of a considered and coherent approach that facilitates sustainable management of the environment and natural resource development , including encouraging greater uptake of renewable energy.

Keywords

Renewable energy Sustainable development Sustainable management of natural and physical resources Integrated environmental management 

New Zealand Legal Terms and Abbreviations Used in this Part

EC or EnvC or Env Ct

Environment Court

DC

District Court

HC

High Court

CA

Court of Appeal

SC

Supreme Court

NZSC

New Zealand Supreme Court

NZLR

New Zealand Law Reports

NZRMA

New Zealand Resource Management Appeals

Judge

Judge of the Environment Court or District Court

Justice

Judge of the High Court, Court of Appeal or Supreme Court

J

Abbreviation for Judge of the High Court, Court of Appeal or Supreme Court

JJ

Abbreviation for two or more Judges of the High Court, Court of Appeal or Supreme Court

CJ

Chief Justice

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Faculty of LawUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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