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

 

Gordon Campbell: On The IOC’s Treatment Of Russian Sport, And Lone Wolf Terrorism

A blanket ban on Russian athletes would also have exposed the IOC to criticism that its treatment of Russia would have been marked contrast to its treatment say, of the track and field team from Kenya – a country about which the IOC has very similar doping concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Sounds Like A Plan: Auckland Council Receives Unitary Plan Recommendations

A key milestone in New Zealand planning history was reached today when the Independent Hearings Panel delivered the reports containing its recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

National Park Expansion: Forests And Coast Of Kahurangi Protected

Five parcels of high value land totalling more than 890 hectares have been formally gazetted as part of the National Park. More>>

ALSO:

PPP Go-Ahead: SkyPath Gets Unanimous Support

Auckland’s SkyPath project has been given the go-ahead to be delivered through a public private partnership, after a unanimous decision at today’s Finance and Performance Committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank, The UN Shortlist, And Trump

Can there really be there any link between the US presidential elections and yesterday’s RBNZ signals on interest rates and the NZ dollar? Well, maybe. And it would be this: the improving US economy is reportedly putting a tailwind behind the US dollar, and rendering the actions of our Reserve Bank virtually irrelevant. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Make NZ Make Again: Greens Will Establish A Minister For Manufacturing

The Green Party announced today that it will establish a Minister for Manufacturing in Cabinet, to better represent the interests of manufacturers and ensure they thrive. The Minister will be inside Cabinet and have responsibility for the long-term interests of the manufacturing sector. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news