Catherine Irons, Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at Victoria University of Wellington, uses examples of pollution to illustrate that this can no longer be accepted as the status quo and she proposes to include environmental protection in our human rights legislation. Human rights are designed to resolve human problems, but if we do not see a problem it is impossible to create a right for it. Modern legal frameworks provide for environmental laws but not for environmental rights because when the laws were created humans didn’t see any problems. Lastly, she points out that a line in the Bill of Rights or Human Rights Act would allow the protection of the environment to be discussed in the national courts and it could compel a person, company or organisation to take active measures to ensure we live in a healthy, sustainable country. Photo credit: TEDxTauranga