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Greens Fooled On GE Funding, Says Litigator

Greens Fooled On GE Funding, Says Litigator

A Waikato environmental litigator says the Green Party is being deceived by government partners on genetic engineering funding and needs to wake up.

Feisty North Waikato horse enthusiast Wendy Finlayson, still completing a huge and costly battle against a dump beside the Waikato River, and with another battle looming on the horizon over wastes from a prison, says Green has supported the livestock emissions tax out of ignorance of what government is really doing.

The emissions tax, which has been called a "fart levy", would be used for genetic engineering, she said. Proceeds from the levy would be used to research the development of genetically engineered grasses in an effort to reduce the function of the ruminant animal.

The strongly anti-GE Green Party should not be supporting GE funding this way but appears not to realise it, Miss Finlayson said.

Miss Finlayson recently conducted her own Environment Court case against a massive proposed dump which is to be the largest in Australasia, sited beside the Waikato River. She was one of several appellants.

Her case argued that the dump promoters had no permission under the RMA to divert and remove a stream, and that they would also cause land instability and create toxic leachate which could eventually pollute the Waikato River.

Wendy Finlayson's personal bills from her three-year court battle over the dumpcurrently stand at more than $50,000 including $30,000 disputed court costs.

Most of her expert witnesses in the dump case donated services, while the dump side's legal team and about 40 technical witnesses cost over $1.65m.

The consented but still-unbuilt dump fought by Miss Finlayson, which will take mostly Auckland waste and will be very profitable for decades after costs are recovered, is now 100% owned by private company Fulton Hogan Ltd, dominated by Shell Oil interests. After the sale of the publicly-held 50% a few days after the Environment Court go-ahead, a shell holding merely resource consents now remains with Auckland Councils through Infrastructure Auckland.

Fighter Wendy Finlayson seems undeterred by her massive bills from the dump case.

She is now taking on the Corrections Department over their scheme to pipe raw sewage out of a proposed 1000-bed South Auckland men's prison into one of North Waikato's lakes well known as a habitat for ducks and other birds.

She has lodged an appeal to the Environment Court against the Councils' consent on this and several prison matters.

Miss Finlayson represents Te Kauwhata on a local government committee, works on a farm in the district and is trying to set up a horse-trekking business near the Waikato River when she is not fighting environmental matters.

© Scoop Media

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