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Project Aqua 'Call In' Patently Unfair

Project Aqua 'Call In' Patently Unfair

The Government's `call in' of Project Aqua, under the procedures of the Resource Management Act, raises a number of issues while, at the same time, highlighting two points of conflict, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"Firstly, when the private sector is buckling under the weight of regulatory constraints and frustrating RMA procedures, why should a Government-owned enterprise receive special `fast-track treatment'?

"A streamlining of the consent procedure is long overdue but, in spite of its rhetoric, the Labour Government has failed to address these issues in two RMA amendments it has introduced.

"It is completely unacceptable for a Government-backed project to get the green light, while everyone else's languishes in the RMA inertia.

"The second issue is Environment Minister Marian Hobbs' attempts to placate everyone by saying she will initiate the `call in' procedures. At the same time, she is claiming that all decisions will be taken at the local level. These two positions are mutually exclusive, and Ms Hobbs should stop the charade," Mr Shirley said.

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