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Minister ignores DoC's inconvenient dam submission

13th April 2008

Minister ignores DoC's inconvenient submission against dam

Green Party Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei says the Minister has displayed flawed reasoning in declining to call in the Mokihinui Hydro Proposal under the Resource Management Act.

"In his announcement, the Minister notes his decision was made on the basis that some Government agencies support Meridian's proposal. But he has ignored the fact that the Department of Conservation and West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board have strongly opposed the proposal due to the massive impacts on indigenous biodiversity," Mrs Turei says.

"Buller District Mayor Pat McManus' statement last month that: "it is worth sacrificing a small wilderness area for a new hydro-electric power scheme" shows that the unreasonable pro-development-at-all-costs streak is still alive and well, and casts doubt on the ability of the West Coast Regional Council and Buller District Council to impartially assess the project under the RMA.

Mrs Turei's submission to the councils comprehensively outlined alternative energy solutions to current and future demand, showing that the Mokihinui dam is not the only possibility, although it is by far the most environmentally impacting one.

"The proposal also faces the significant hurdle of obtaining Department of Conservation concessions to cut down and flood tall rare forest, and reduce habitat, most likely kill threatened species such as whio, kiwi and long-finned eel," Mrs Turei says.


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