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Council Abusing Important Powers - ACT MP

Wednesday 19th Jan 2000
Owen Jennings
Media Release -- Environment

The move by the Waikato Regional Council to hire a consultant and give them special entry powers as an employee under the Resource Management Act is a gross abuse of the special entry powers given to councils according to ACT's spokesman on the environment, Owen Jennings.

Owen Jennings today said the WRC is mishandling the case of a Cambridge pig farmer, Roger Johnson, who the Council wants to close his farm as it says there are ongoing problems with smell from the business.

"Using the full weight of the RMA against a ratepayer who has done all the Council has requested and who has long standing rights is unacceptable. There is a way through this dilemma but the WRC is resorting to bullying, harassment and manipulation of its enabling legislation to appease neighbours who did not do their homework before buying property in the vicinity.

"The RMA does not envisage the use of temporary staff to hatchet residents. If the WRC can abuse this Act in this manner it creates a disreputable precedent for local authorities to employ temporary staff to achieve a range of heavy handed activities never envisaged by the lawmakers.

"What's worse is that Roger Johnson has to foot the bill for the Council's 'temporary staff'.

"I am today writing to the Waikato Regional Council to ask that it stops this action immediately," said Owen Jennings.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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