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Waitaki Bill Now Obsolete

29 March 2004
PR 81/04

Waitaki Bill Now Obsolete

The government should immediately withdraw its Waitaki water legislation following Meridian Energy's abandonment of Project Aqua, said Tom Lambie, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

"The Resource Management (Waitaki Catchment) Amendment Bill is a flawed and ad hoc approach towards water allocation and should be dumped," Mr Lambie said.

The government introduced the special legislation due to the complexities of Meridian's resource consent application, and the many competing demands for Waitaki water.

“The bill promotes a central planning approach to water allocation without considering changing demands for water over time," he said.

"It also sets undesirable precedents for other water catchments and provides significant uncertainty for both current and would-be investors. And it fails to recognise existing property rights and will undermine incentives to invest in capital-intensive uses of water such as irrigation," Mr Lambie said.

“Federated Farmers supports a full analysis of water availability in New Zealand, including the examination of differing allocation mechanisms. As such we do not support the Resource Management (Waitaki Catchment) Amendment Bill,” said Mr Lambie.

Ends

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