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


Cash for consent deals on Project Aqua

Gerry Brownlee National Energy Spokesperson

16 October 2003

Cash for consent deals on Project Aqua

The Government's confirmation today that Meridian Energy is paying cash for consent deals over Project Aqua, is its most glaring admission that the Resource Management Act (RMA) is seriously flawed and needs a dramatic overhaul, says National Energy and Local Government Spokesperson Gerry Brownlee.

"Facing the prospect of getting more than 300 individual resource consents, state-owned Meridian is approaching parties its own experts identify as being affected. It's offering them initial cash solatium payments, which by nature are made without prejudice, and to pick up any cost of independent legal advice, with the promise of more cash if affected parties sign away their right to object to the project.

"The Minister of State Owned Enterprises in Parliament today justified Meridian Energy spending in excess of *$50m in a cash for consent deal with parties affected by construction of Project Aqua.

"This is a flagrant use of the taxpayers' chequebook by an SOE to buy its way through the flawed process of the RMA. The Minister's bumbling and incompetent justification of these deals shows how far this Government will go to avoid the problems of the RMA, rather than try to solve them.

"The message this Government is sending to anyone affected by a development, is to forget about their environmental concerns, and concentrate on how much they can get in their back pocket. That defeats the original purpose of the Act and promotes the wrong results.

"The Government has been caught out and can't justify these cash payments, using taxpayers' money, for the wrong reasons," Mr Brownlee said.

* the figure of $50m was given to the Commerce Select Committee Inquiry earlier today by Meridian chief executive Keith Turner


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election