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RMA amendment interventionist, ad hoc

Media release 12 February 2004

RMA amendment interventionist, ad hoc

The RMA amendment bill dealing with the Waitaki River is ad hoc and interventionist, says Business NZ.

Appearing before the Local Government & Environment Select Committee today, Business NZ environment adviser Peter Whitehouse said the RMA (Waitaki Catchment) Amendment Bill would allow a high level of ministerial intervention and would hamper the development of an integrated strategy for water use.

"The Bill should be shelved and more resources devoted to the national Water Programme of Action," Mr Whitehouse said.

"Existing property rights need to be protected and rather than allowing ministerial dictate in making water allocation decisions, a market-based system of tradable water rights needs to be developed".

"The competing demands currently facing the Waitaki are not confined to that catchment. If investor confidence is to be protected and the available resource is to be equitably and sustainably allocated, development of a national strategy needs to be given priority."

ENDS

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