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ACT MP Heads Compensation Delegation

ACT MP Owen Jennings, led a delegation to the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council today demanding compensation for the Bierstaker family who lost their Foxton pig farming business as a result of neighbours complaining to the regional council about smells from the farm.

Mr Jennings said the council’s decision to uphold the complaint under the terms of the Resource Management Act was a complete abuse of power.

“The Council have made a deliberate decision to put a family out of business knowing that it will put them under huge financial pressure. The Bierstakers are facing financial ruin, probably bankruptcy,” Mr Jennings said.

“At no time when Parliament was debating the introduction of the RMA did it anticipate that the resource consents process under the Act would deprive a person of their livelihood. In fact under Sections 85 and 86 Councils are expressly forbidden from drawing up plans that could result in just that.”

Mr Jennings said there was no provision for compensation to be paid out under the terms of the RMA, but the council had more than a moral obligation to compensate the Bierstakers for its actions.

The ACT MP said the Bierstakers case highlighted yet again the need for a “complete overhaul” of the Resource Management Act.

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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