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Meridian’s North Otago Plan Should Get Priority

Meridian’s North Otago Plan Should Get Top Priority

ACT Environment Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff says Meridian Energy’s proposed development of the lower Waitaki should be given top priority by Jim Anderton and his Ministry of Economic Development.

“Sovereign Yachts in Auckland received a resource consent in five months. The proposal went through in no time. The normal timeframe under the Resource Management Act would be at least five years.

“If the Deputy Prime Minister is prepared to assist an Auckland business in sweeping away the normal resource consent process he must also do the same with this initiative in North Otago.

“North Otago cannot wait for the inevitable ponderous RMA process to be played out before starting. Appeals will no doubt further delay progress.

“Jim Anderton has set a precedent with Sovereign Yachts.

“If his is truly serious about economic and regional development he must fast-track Meridian Energy’s proposal.

“Secondly the Deputy PM must reassess the impact the RMA has on development, growth and jobs.

“The people of North Otago are entitled to the same consideration as the people of Auckland.

“Or is the number of votes in Auckland more important than jobs in North Otago?

“It is political interference such as Sandra Lee’s in the Whitianga Waterway project and Jim Anderton in Sovereign Yachts that makes the RMA the biggest stumbling block to jobs and growth in New Zealand.

“It is the RMA that needs major surgery. Jim Anderton’s hour upon the stage will pass soon enough. The RMA needs to pass with him,” Gerry Eckhoff said.


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