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Irrigation scheme at risk from Resource Management

Tuesday 19th Oct 1999
Owen Jennings
Media Release -- Other

Canterbury's life blood - the irrigation schemes - are at risk from over zealous bureaucrats and interfering interest groups, say the ACT farmers who are now in Canterbury as part of the ACT Heartland Tour.

ACT rural spokesman Owen Jennings says the Waiau scheme in North Canterbury has just paid out $96,000 in legal and consultancy fees to defend existing rights to extract from a river.

The chairman of the scheme who met the ACT rural team today said increased production in the Amuri Basin was a result of water being available all year round, but the cost and frustration involved for a scheme that has been up and running is making it very difficult for irrigation to survive.

Canterbury farmers who met the ACT team want some urgent action to curb the activities of groups whose objections are at best specious and unscientific, Mr Jennings said. "These farmers are just as anxious to preserve instream values as the rest of the community but there is ample room for good conservation values on the river while having irrigation."

Team leader Owen Jennings said a reform of the Resource Management Act is a high priority for ACT.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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