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Urgent remedy sought over Whitianga Waterway

16 May 2001 Media Statement

Urgent remedy sought over Whitianga Waterway Restricted Coastal application

The acting Prime Minister Jim Anderton, has announced that he, in consultation with the Minister of Conservation, is seeking an urgent remedy over the Whitianga Waterway Restricted Coastal application.

"I have been checking whether it is possible to amend the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act that constrained the Minister of Conservation from making an immediate decision on the original application," Mr Anderton said.

"I am exploring the possibility of piggy-backing an amendment into the House which would address the technical problem that occurred when the original bill overtook the application during appeals.

"The Minister’s statutory role as the ‘official consent authority’ precludes her from promoting an alternative remedy herself. It’s fair to say however that she is extremely frustrated by having been precluded by the Act from exercising a discretion because of this anomaly

"For the last two days I have been developing a possible option that would require an amendment to the Act to avoid the need for consideration of it in this case," Mr Anderton said.

"If it is possible, we should know by tomorrow. Cross party agreement in Parliament will be required to ensure an expeditious and smooth passage through the House.

"In the mean time, it is important that it is understood that the Minister of Conservation has not rejected the application at all. She had no choice over being required to send it back. Moreover, she is constrained from comment by virtue of her quasi-judicial statutory obligations as the ‘consent authority’.

"Therefore further inquiries from the media on this matter should be directed to me," Mr Anderton said.


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