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Natural justice overtaken by fast ferries

1 September 2000

Natural justice overtaken by fast ferries

Marlborough-based Green MP Ian Ewen-Street today said the issue of fast ferry wash in the Marlborough Sounds was one characterised by a lack of natural justice for residents in the Sounds.

Mr Ewen-Street was commenting on a report commissioned by the Marlborough District Council which showed property owners and boaties in Tory Channel and Queen Charlotte Sound have on average spent $6350 on damage to their property caused by ferry wash.

"I am concerned that not only have fast ferries compromised the safety, property and the environment of people in the Sounds but people have had to pay a lot of money to fix their property and land," he said.

"This report is quite conclusive that substantial damage has been caused particularly by fast ferry wash. Making these people pay for the damage caused is bypassing any notion of natural justice and it may well be that the fast ferry companies should be held accountable for this," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"Through this issue we have clearly seen the inbalance facing those who are seeking to protect the environment from the damage caused by some businesses. For example resource consent is not required for the ferries to create the ferry wash in the first place but residents wishing to build a protective retaining wall face a number of costs and restrictions, including having to apply for resource consent."

Mr Ewen-Street said he supported the local Council in proposing a bylaw to slow the ferries and said that the issue of compensation also clearly needed to be addressed.

Ian Ewen-Street MP: 04 470 6726, 025 902 527 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 440 090

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