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"Sympathetic Hearing" For ACT-Led Delegation

The Foxton couple who lost their pig farm two years ago because of a resource consent decision by the Manawatu Regional Council, received a “sympathetic” hearing from the council today, ACT MP Owen Jennings said.

Mr Jennings led a delegation to the council today demanding compensation for Mr and Mrs John Bierstaker, because their business went under after the council upheld complaints from neighbours.

Mr Jennings claimed the council’s action was a “complete abuse of power” under the Resource Management Act.

“The council made a deliberate decision to put the Bierstakers out of business, knowing full well it could completely ruin them,” Mr Jennings said.

Addressing the council meeting today, and presenting a thousand-name petition in support of the Bierstakers, Mr Jennings said Parliament never anticipated that the resource consents procedures under the RMA, would deprive anybody of their means of livelihood.

“That is exactly what the Manawatu Regional council did when the Bierstakers sought the right to carry on their long-standing pig farming business,” Mr Jennings said.

He said he was pleased the council gave the couple a “sympathetic” hearing today but it still had to address the compensation issue.

“Although there is no legal obligation for the Council to pay compensation, consideration is urgently needed to restore equity and dignity to the Bierstakers,” Mr Jennings said.

“The outcome will depend on the councillors’ determination to do what is right, given the poor manner in which the whole process has been handled.

“This case highlights yet again that the Resource Management Act was in need of a complete review, so private property rights are protected under the law,” Mr Jennings said.

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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