Govt unlikely to intervene
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.