Govt un­likely to in­ter­vene

South Waikato News - - Community Cookbook -

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Nick Smith is un­will­ing to in­ter­vene in the leg­isla­tive process in­volv­ing Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil’s Healthy Rivers Plan change.

Smith was asked whether he would ap­point a board of in­quiry to in­ter­vene in the plan change by ACT Leader David Sey­mour dur­ing par­lia­men­tary ques­tion time on Novem­ber 8.

Smith was able to in­ter­vene by in­vok­ing sec­tion 142 of the Re­source Man­age­ment Act. But with no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the plan change now pub­licly avail­able for submissions, it had passed the point where he could in­ter­vene, Smith said.

‘‘It would be un­usual for the Gov­ern­ment to step in and, ef­fec­tively, take over a re­gional coun­cil’s most im­por­tant func­tion of water qual­ity.’’

Sey­mour said he had been con­tacted by landown­ers con­cerned about the ef­fects the plan change would have on their prof­itabil­ity.

‘‘We hope the hear­ing com­mit­tee will prop­erly lis­ten to sub­mit­ters bear­ing in mind that the Min­is­ter is closely watch­ing.’’

The high cost for some farm­ers as out­lined in the Fed­er­ated Farm­ers-com­mis­sioned Farm Plan Project saw New Zealand First at­tempt to se­cure a par­lia­men­tary de­bate.

The re­quest was re­fused by the House speaker be­cause the re­port did not fall into the realms of min­is­te­rial re­spon­si­bil­ity.

A ma­jor wet­land restora­tion projects funded this year by the Waikato River Author­ity is the Man­gao­tama Wet­land restora­tion.

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