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Environment Waikato Plan Impractical


27 August 2001 PR132/01
Environment Waikato Plan Impractical

An obscure resource management plan prepared by Environment Waikato to protect indigenous plants and wildlife is liable to cause ructions for landowners and district councils in the Waikato.

"The criteria for protection are so open-ended that landowners could have rules forced upon them to protect native grasses, weeds, rushes or habitat for any native bird, animal, fish or insect", said John Vincent, President of Waikato Federated Farmers.

Several of those who submitted, including the Federation, have appealed the variation to the Regional Policy Statement. The Federation is seeking a negotiated agreement with Environment Waikato before the case reaches the Environment Court.

"All the Federation want is greater clarity, prioritising protection on threatened, rare and endangered species, and something practical and achievable", said Mr Vincent.

A regional policy statement has significant ramifications, as all resource management plans within the region are required by law to be consistent with it. Mr Vincent said this means that all the plans that have been produced by district councils within the Waikato will have to be amended if Environment Waikato's proposal is not altered.

"Compounding the madness is that a national policy statement on indigenous biodiversity is due for completion next year", said Mr Vincent. "This could well require a further round of amendments to the regional policy statement and district plans.

"Environment Waikato is wasting ratepayers' money and submitters' time in proceeding ahead of the national policy statement."

ENDS

For more information: John Vincent, PH 07 883 4762 or 025 277 8464 Sally Millar, PH 07 838 2589


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