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Conspiracy Theories Or Bad PR?

Gordon Copeland Press Release
For Immediate Release
Monday, 11th February 2008



An independent MP says a combination of Green Party mischief making and poor communication by Ministry for the Environment is behind the weekend’s allegations of a doctored report.

Gordon Copeland was commenting on weekend media reports on allegations by Greens co-leader Russel Norman that a recent government environment report deliberately excluded damming information about intensive land-use. The Greens were blaming powerful lobby groups for a chapter of the report being pulled.

In response, The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) said the offending chapter was removed because it contained policy instead of technical information. Mr Copeland said “the report was full of information about land use, intensive farming and its damage to the environment. But I think the department could have handled their response better, and the report should have had a summary.”

Todd Krieble, MOE’s general manager for reporting and communications, told media the report was technical only and that the missing chapter included information for developing future policy later.

However Mr Copeland says the MOE doesn’t appear to know their own terms of reference. “Their own web site shows that reporting may contain policy issues.” Quoting from the Ministries reporting guidelines, Mr Copeland says they include: “Are response policies and actions having the desired effect?”

“That makes nonsense of the MOE’s defence that edited material contained policy issues and therefore was not within guidelines,” said Mr Copeland.


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