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More Bumbling from Minister Hobbs - Or Is It?

The Minister of the Environment, Marion Hobbs, has once again demonstrated her capacity for sensational public comments, making extraordinary remarks about the Resource Management Act and one of the country’s unitary authorities, ACT Environment Spokesman Owen Jennings said.

“If the comments the Minister made about the Marlborough Council are accurately reported – and they certainly seem to be given the credence allotted to them in an Editorial in the Marlborough Express of Jan 12 – then the Minister needs to explain herself, justify her comments or retract them.

“The Minister claimed the RMA ‘is absolutely stuffed’. She claimed unitary councils were costing too much money. She said she was going to investigate the Marlborough District Council’s decision making under the RMA,” Mr Jennings said.

A unitary authority is the description for a sole local authority in a region. Other unitary authorities are those in Nelson, Tasman and Gisborne.

“On the face of it these latest remarks are more of this Minister’s renowned bumbling. But the worrying thought is that perhaps the Government is setting up the public for greater central control of environmental issues and the removal of unitary authorities.

“Are these remarks in fact a precursor to the unitary councils being axed? Ratepayers in Marlborough, Nelson, Tasman, and Gisborne have a right to know what the Government is planning,” Mr Jennings said.


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