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Nick Smith pushed one step closer to the truth

Ruth Dyson
Conservation Spokesperson

19 February 2014

Nick Smith pushed one step closer to the truth

Ruth Dyson, Labour’s Conservation spokesperson, has claimed a significant victory in the on-going battle to prise the full truth about the Ruataniwha dam proposal out of Nick Smith, with a ruling from the Speaker of the House.

Ruth Dyson wrote to the Speaker on 16 December, in relation to the unsatisfactory answers from Hon Nick Smith in response to written questions.

“His answers both in the House and in response to written questions have been incorrect, misleading or unacceptably evasive.

“The public interest in this issue is very high, given the contentious nature of the new modelling environment modelling in the proposal.

“This new model ignores the change in nitrate levels in the Tukituki River in favour of measuring just phosphorous. The nitrate levels in the Tukituki River would be toxic under this proposal. It is not a proposal that should have the support of the Minister of Conservation and all the facts surrounding his involvement in the lack of advocacy from the Department of Conservation should be known.

“The Speaker has agreed with my concerns and has written to the Minister of Conservation asking that he reconsider his replies to my questions and ‘endeavour to give more informative replies.’

“I hope that he puts some effort into this endeavour in the public interest and look forward to his next attempts at answers. I find it interesting that he is avoiding the debate. If the proposal is so sound – and if he has nothing to hide - why doesn’t he just provide the information that I have asked for?”


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