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Rural conflict issues addressed

Sunday 18 March 2001
Media Statement

Rural conflict issues addressed

People planning a move to the country are being offered some advice from the Ministry for the Environment on how to avoid some of the pitfalls of rural life.

The Ministry has produced a brochure pointing out the kinds of issues that people relocating to rural areas might encounter and some questions they should ask to help them avoid conflicts.

"The rural environment is not all clean fresh air, peace, quiet and open space. It is also a productive environment, which can lead to conflict in rural communities," says Ministry policy analyst Tim Bennetts.

The Ministry for the Environment has been working with local government and rural groups to identify why conflicts arise and to develop guidance on good practice in managing the issues.

"The country is a working environment, with the noises, smells and other effects of primary production," Mr Bennetts said. "This reality can be far removed from the rural haven that those moving to the country for a lifestyle change are looking for."

Mr Bennetts said district councils often had to deal with conflicts over amenity issues between people who live and work in the rural area. The suggestions in the new brochure – which form part of a report for councils on managing rural amenity – emerged from a nationwide series of workshops run by the Ministry and the New Zealand Planning Institute last year.

A second brochure summarises tools and ideas for councils to avoid or manage conflicts.

Both brochures will be available from district and regional councils, while the 'lifestyler' brochure will also be available from rural real estate offices.

The brochures are being distributed this week. For copies phone (04) 917 7493, fax (04) 917 7523, email publications@mfe.govt.nz or download free from www.mfe.govt.nz.

Tim Bennetts, Policy Advisor, Ministry for the Environment, 03 3654540/ or 025-781-470
Karl Ferguson, Media Advisor, Ministry for the Environment, 04 917 7482 / or 025 243 7486

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