Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


PQ 12. Conservation, Minister—Statements

12. Conservation, Minister—Statements

[Sitting date: 29 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:11. Text is subject to correction.]


12. Hon RUTH DYSON (Labour - Port Hills) to the Minister of Conservation : Does he stand by all his recent statements?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH (Minister of Conservation): Yes , particularly my statement to the Fish and Game Council and to Federated Farmers that New Zealand will make more progress on improving water quality through collaboration than through conflict.

Hon Ruth Dyson : Why did he say that Fish and Game struggles with the concept of being a statutory body but behaves like a rabid NGO, and that it had to decide which it wanted to be or “the perks of being statutory body could go”, if not to threaten it with that loss?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I dispute those statements as to what was said at the meeting. I think it is a bit of a commentary of the season that exaggeration and overstatement just go with the time of the year. I think the notes that were taken by an independent Department of Conservation official are a pretty accurate record. Actually, David Haynes’ original comments that my contribution was very professional I thought were also quite accurate.

Hon Ruth Dyson : When he said, as recorded by his Department of Conservation official, that Fish and Game needed to work out what it wanted to be, a statutory body with legislation and a relationship with Government, or an NGO, did he threaten its statutory monopoly; if not, what does the further comment recorded by the Department of Conservation official—“Statutory monopoly! Big issue.”—mean in the notes?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I get lots of commentary from rural Fish and Game licence holders who object to having to pay compulsory fees to an organisation that then uses that money to criticise the very industries that sustain those rural communities. I did say to the Fish and Game Council that it needs to ensure that it is pro - freshwater quality and does not get in the space of being anti - rural industries like farming.

Hon Ruth Dyson : Why did he describe the Fish and Game irrigation billboard campaign “How much is too much?” as “a problem politically” and then say to Fish and Game that when you cause trouble, you burn good will, and how do those comments relate to its legal obligation to maintain, manage, and enhance fish stock?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I made some generic comments to Fish and Game that it needed to be more collaborative in improving fresh water. It was actually a member of the Fish and Game Council itself that raised criticisms of the billboard campaign. It was a member of the council who actually said they thought it was unwise and they voted against it, but the director of Fish and Game wanted to proceed. I actually do not think that billboard campaign did anything to advance the key issue of freshwater quality.

Rt Hon John Key : Speaking of billboards, is the Government running any kind of programme around recycling of billboards, because I can feel about 20,000 “Vote Positive” ones that need to be taken down—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! Again, no—[Interruption] Order! Settle down. Settle down. There is no ministerial responsibility for the Minister of Conservation. [Interruption] Order!

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek leave for the Prime Minister to ask a similar question again so that he can make a fool of himself twice.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! The member knows he cannot seek leave for another member.

Hon Ruth Dyson : Has the Minister rung Mr Lindsay Lyons of the Fish and Game Council or six of the other participants who have been reported as being prepared to swear under oath the accuracy of Mr Haynes’ comments about his threats, and has he threatened them with legal action as well?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I spoke to Mr Lyons on the telephone last Friday. He apologised to me for what had occurred after the meeting, saying it was not intended as a public meeting and that the public comments were most unfortunate. I feel this is simply a matter of election season. It is a season of exaggeration and misquotation. I stand by the written records of the meeting that were taken at the time

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

National Party Conference: Plans To Nudge Immigrants Towards Regions

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Relieved Of Control At Mt Eden Prison, Retains Contract

Multi-national private prison operator Serco has been forced to hand back control of Auckland's Mt Eden remand prison to the Department of Corrections, which has used a 'step-in' clause in its contract with Serco following a string of increasingly serious allegations about contraband, prisoner injuries and a death. More>>

ALSO:

Other Experiments: Failing Charter School Stays Open 'For Kids'

Education Minister Hekia Parata says she has given Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Northland a chance to continue operating because of her concerns about finding other educational opportunities for its students. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news