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Green Party claims scurrilous

Agriculture Minister says Green Party claims scurrilous

Agriculture Minister David Carter says claims by Green Party co-leader Dr Russel Norman of a conflict of interest relating to a Water Conservation Order (WCO) for the Hurunui River are scurrilous.

“There is an existing historical right to irrigate approximately 40ha of my 1700ha Cat Hill property from the Hurunui River. This consent was transferred to me when I bought the property approximately four years ago. It has not changed since and I have no intention of applying for more water in the future.

“If either the Hurunui Water Project or the Hurunui WCO proceeds, it will have no impact on the existing historical consent. The Cat Hill property is not one which would be further irrigated should the Hurunui Irrigation Project proceed. Therefore I do not stand to benefit financially, as the Green Party claims.”

Mr Carter says Dr Norman’s claims of a conflict of interest in the Hurunui WCO process are also incorrect.

“Last year, in conjunction with Hurunui Mayor Garry Jackson and Bede O'Malley, chair of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy steering group, I discussed with all parties involved in the Hurunui WCO process the possibility of an integrated approach to try and avoid the issue escalating to the Environment Court.

“This collaborative approach was undertaken with the local mayors in an attempt to avoid the combative and expensive court route and reflects the approach recommended by the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

“All parties were initially positive about this approach, but subsequently some withdrew support and decided to proceed with Environment Court action.

“There was no conflict of interest and I am surprised that the Green Party is not more supportive of this consensus-building approach,” Mr Carter says.

ENDS


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