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Government Resurrects Muldoon Era

Government Resurrects Muldoon Era

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today slammed Government plans to amend the Resource Management Act, to allow energy projects - such as the Waitaki development scheme - to proceed with haste.

"This plan, to speed up progress on Project Aqua, is reminiscent of former Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon's use of the Clutha Development (Clyde Dam) Empowering Act 1982 to allow the Clyde Dam Project to proceed," Mr Eckhoff said.

"There are direct parallels between these two schemes - not least of which is the total dismissal of local concerns.

"Despite the Government's self-confessed concerns for the environment, it has again ignored the RMA when it suits them. West Coast logging could have proved embarrassing, so the Government by-passed the RMA. Local MP David Parker has expressed his support for the retention of the Waitaki in its present state. What prospects will he now bring to stop fast tracking Project Aqua?

"The RMA was supposed to be about local control, sustainable development and environmental protection. Nothing could be further from the truth, when a Government can ignore its own legislation when the need arises.

"RMA devotees must be totally bewildered by local people's inability to have significant input into legislation designed to give local control of local resources," said Mr Eckhoff.

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