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Pollution plan smells like a hijack, Mr Anderton

2 July 2008

Pollution plan smells like a hijack, Mr Anderton

Word for word submissions from Landcorp and Federated Farmers opposing improvements to water quality in the Manawatu and Wanganui region's rivers to make them safe to swim in, smell of a hijack, Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman says.

Dr Norman today released information at Parliament's question time showing the state-owned-enterprise and Charlie Pedersen, when he was Federated Farmers president, had made virtually identical submissions opposing safe swimming standards for the Manawatu and Wanganui region.

Crown agencies including the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) had been trying to prevent Horizons Regional Council plans to make streams and rivers in the region safer, Dr Norman said.

Dr Norman's statements today follow his revelation in April that MAF had made a written submission in opposition to Horizons' draft "One Plan" standard that all natural water bodies should be suitable for "contact recreation". The MAF submission was withdrawn after Greens pressure.

"The Government is full of hot air about cleaning up our rivers, because its agencies are at times lobbying to do the opposite," Dr Norman said.

"Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton has attacked the Greens for suggesting the Government was under the influence of Federated Farmers but I'm finding more and more evidence that Crown agencies are under the Feds' thumb.

"While Horizons is trying to do the right thing state agencies are working alongside Federated Farmers to hijack the process as they lobby for continued pollution of the Manawatu River and other waterways. I'm amazed the words `the values, management objectives and methods used to determine the water quality standards ... do not appear to have been formulated on the basis of robust analysis' appear in both Mr Pedersen's and Landcorp's anti-swimming submissions, while the withdrawn MAF submission is quite similar."


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