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Rodney's sewerage muddles Whitianga waterways

Nick Smith National Conservation Spokesperson

12 June 2001

Rodney's sewerage muddles Whitianga waterways

"Conservation Minister Sandra Lee approved a consent to dump 8000 cubic metres of sewerage each day from the Rodney District Council into the Hauraki Gulf after the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act was passed," National's Conservation spokesperson Nick Smith said today.

Last month the Minster caused a furore by requiring the resource consent application by Whitianga Waterways subdivision and canal development to be reheard, despite three years of consideration involving a full Council hearing, Environment Court Appeal and High Court Appeal.

"The contrast is extraordinary. Aucklanders will be disgusted that she approved 8000 cubic metres of sewerage going into the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park but declined consent for the environmentally friendly Whitianga Waterways project.

"The Minister is now admitting she acted illegally and is blaming officials. That is not good enough. She is the Minister and her decisions are totally inconsistent. The only logical explanations for the course of events is that faced with a Maori rebellion she succumbed to Maori pressure to send the Whitianga application back to a new consent committee.

"Parliament is now going to have to fix two Sandra Lee mess-ups in one month. The bill reported back from the Select Committee is now going to have to be changed to fix up this most recent mess of the Ministers," Dr Smith said.

Ends

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