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Green Party Celebrates Mokihinui Decision

22 May 2012

Green Party Celebrates Mokihinui Decision

The Green Party is today welcoming the news that Meridian Energy is pulling out of plans to dam the Mokihinui river.

The campaign to save the Mokihinui has been running since 2007. Meridian’s proposal would have resulted in the inundation of conservation land destroying 300 hectares of irreplaceable river gorge habitat for kiwi, blue duck, kaka, falcons, giant land snails, native bats, and the long-finned eels that live along the Mokihinui.

“New Zealanders love our wild rivers and want them protected. This is a great day for all New Zealanders,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“It is great that the new Meridian Energy CEO, Mark Binns, has listened to thousands of New Zealanders who love this river and is backing away from the destructive dam proposal.

“Given that potential for a dam was a major factor for its exclusion from Kahurangi National Park, the Government can now take this opportunity to include the Mokihinui River in the national park.

Meridian’s decision confirms the wisdom of a Landcare Research report that it was not possible to offset the loss of biodiversity values the proposed dam would have caused.

“The dam would have caused irreplaceable losses of our treasured native species,” said Dr Norman.

“Meridian’s decision highlights the importance of the Department of Conservation (DOC) taking a strong advocacy role under the Resource Management Act (RMA).

“DOC scientists and technical specialists have collected much valuable ecological, landscape, and other information in preparing a strong Environment Court case against the dam. It is one of the few RMA cases with which the Department is still involved.

“I am concerned about the impact of continuing funding cuts to DOC for future cases. Will we have the resources to protect our treasured places with the continued poor choices the National Government is making ahead of the Budget on Thursday?” said Dr Norman.

ENDS

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