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Farmers Welcome Minister’s Injustice Recognition

Farmers Welcome Minister’s Recognition Of Injustice

The Mackenzie Basin community today welcomed the Minister for the Environment’s recognition of their right to water for irrigation.

Simonshill Station owner, Denis Fastier said that the community was today heartened to hear the Minister recognise in Parliament that they had suffered an injustice due to Parliament’s failure to keep its promise of water for irrigation.

“This is an issue felt deeply by our community and we are looking to Parliament to putting things right when the Resource Management (Waitaki Catchment) Amendment Bill comes back before Parliament,” said Denis Fastier.

Mr Fastier said that while the Minister’s comments that she wanted ‘to ensure the injustices felt by those affected by the 1969 Order are heard by the board since the rights they had were not renewed and were eventually legislated out of existence’ were a step in the right direction, the community would be closely studying the Minister’s SOP.

“This has been a tremendous battle for our small community. The failure to protect our rights has seen us pitted against the might and resources of Meridian Energy who have laid claim to every drop of water in this catchment. We believe the Minister should give recognition to our rights in this Bill,” he said.

“We disagree with the Minister that the current action in the High Court stops the Government from being able to return the water to us under this Bill. The fact is we have been forced to go to Court because of the action’s of the Government owned hydro generator,” said Denis Fastier.

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