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Board of inquiry appointed for water policy stmt

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for the Environment

23 July 2008
Media Statement
Embargoed until 1.15pm

Board of inquiry appointed for water policy stmt

Judge David Sheppard has been appointed as chairperson and Kevin Prime, Jenni Vernon and Dr Jon Harding as board members.

"In appointing the board, I have selected a chairperson with strong judicial skills and extensive experience of legal procedures. I have also placed a strong emphasis on tikanga Maori expertise, and planning experience in relation to the Resource Management Act and freshwater ecology. The board has technical expertise and experience to correspond with the high level of public interest and importance placed on freshwater management," Trevor Mallard said.

The role of the board is to notify the proposed national policy statement, call for submissions, hold public hearings, and make recommendations to the Environment Minister on the proposed statement.

"The board has an important task ahead of them and I have every confidence they will lead a fair and thorough process," Trevor Mallard said.

Board of Inquiry – biographical information
Judge Sheppard (chairperson) was appointed Principal Planning Judge in 1987 and Principal Environment Judge in 1996. He retired in 2001 and is now an Alternate Environment Judge. As a Planning Tribunal and Environment Court judge he has presided over many resource management cases. In October 2007 he was appointed chairperson of the Board of Inquiry to consider Transpower’s North Island Grid Upgrade proposal.

Jenni Vernon was Environment Waikato chairperson from 2004 to 2007. She has been involved in facilitating work around biosecurity issues, river and catchment schemes, and a clean stream project. She will bring regional council experience, and knowledge of Resource Management Act processes and freshwater issues to the board.

Kevin Prime was appointed as a part time Environment Commissioner in 2003. He is experienced in Resource Management Act decision-making and has a strong understanding of tikanga Maori. In October 2007 he was appointed as a member of the board considering the North Island Grid Upgrade proposal. Kevin Prime’s tribal association is with Ngati Hine, Northland. He is a beef farmer, forester and bee-keeper.

Dr Jon Harding is a lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury. His speciality is in stream ecology, focusing on the impacts of human land use activities, particularly mining. He has provided advisory services on freshwater matters to a number of regional councils. He will bring scientific and technical expertise on a wide range of freshwater management issues to the board.


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