Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


No justification for Waitaki land-grab


No justification for Waitaki land-grab

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons is questioning why the Government is giving a power company the right to forcibly acquire the property of private landholders.

Meridian Energy was last week granted the powers of a requiring authority by the Environment Minister in order to buy-up land it deems necessary for Project Aqua, its scheme to build a 60-kilometre power-canal in Otago's Waitaki Valley.

"At least three farmers have already been slapped with what one has described as a 'take it or leave it' offer from Meridian," said Jeanette Fitzsimons. "But profit-making corporations should not have draconian 'powers-of-state' to simply seize someone's home or farm.

'Requiring authority' status originally related to national networks like roads, rail, telecommunications and the national grid. As many of these have been corporatised or privatised, the right to compulsorily acquire land has gone to the corporation controlling these networks.

"Since, however, Meridian is not operating a network but is simply planning a big power scheme, the Government's actions smack of a return to Think Big style planning, where large projects get bulldozed through," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"These are powers that simply do not exist in corporate hands in any other democratic, industrialised country and we do not believe they should exist in this country.

"What makes the decision to grant these powers even more worrying is the fact that there is no publicly available assessment as to whether the $1.2 billion being spent on Project Aqua could have saved more power through energy efficiency improvements and generated more through solar and wind power plans.

"Meridian's scheme is not due for completion for at least another five years," noted Ms Fitzsimons. "There are alternative energy projects that could have been warming homes this winter.

"Before conferring these extraordinary powers on a corporation the Minister should have considered all the options and all the ramifications of her act."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news