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Blame The Politicians, Not The Judges

Blame The Politicians, Not The Judges

Thursday 27 May 2004

Ken Shirley - Press Releases - Energy

We should not be surprised by the Environment Court's decision curtailing the water rights that underpin the Tongariro Power Scheme, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Energy Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"Since 1973, some of the Wanganui River's headwaters have been diverted, through canals and tunnels, discharging into the Tongariro River which, in turn, flows into Lake Taupo and down the Waikato River," Mr Shirley said.

"Back in the 1970's, we invested many millions in the Tongariro scheme, to contribute to the nation's energy needs and prosperity. The river flows in the lower Wanganui have been negligibly affected and, of course, the regular flood events ensure a healthy and dynamic river system.

"The foolish expansion of the Resource Management Act to cover metaphysical and spiritual beliefs has led to this decision. The problem has been compounded by elevating myth and legend to a matter of national importance within the RMA.

Why is it an offence to divert water to generate electricity, when it is apparently not an offence to supplement the sun's natural light with electric lights. Similarly, it seems that no one objects to diverting water for drinking purposes, or to heat water for showers, baths and laundry.

"The RMA was intended to provide for the sustainable management of natural resources. It can never adequately address the nebulous metaphysical wishes of those who wish to apply a selective morality to enhance their own political agendas," Mr Shirley said.


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