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Worrying deficiencies identified in Mapua clean-up

Hon Dr Nick Smith
National Party Environment Spokesman

29 July 2008

Worrying deficiencies identified in Mapua clean-up

There are important lessons to be learnt from the remediation of the contaminated site at Mapua that need to be applied to other contaminated sites of this kind, says National’s Environment spokesman Nick Smith.

Dr Smith is responding to the release today of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report on the clean-up near Nelson.

“It’s a very bad look that the Ministry for the Environment breached the resource consents over the Mapua clean-up and that this potentially compromised the health of residents and the estuarine environment.

“The Ministry is meant to be the guardian of the Resource Management Act, and it sets an appalling example when they knowingly breach the resource consent conditions.

“The report raises bigger questions as to whether it is appropriate for the Ministry to be holding the resource consents as a policy ministry. This reinforces the merits of National’s proposal for a separate Environment Protection Agency.

“This report’s criticism of the Ministry for the Environment comes in the wake of the sacking of the Minister late last year and the resignation of the chief executive early this year, and paints the picture of a dysfunctional Ministry.

“A key priority for National will be rebuilding the Ministry into a credible policy adviser on the environment and ensuring a proper separation of functions so these errors are not repeated.”


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