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Waitaki Water Bill Flawed

27 February 2004 PR 049/04

Waitaki Water Bill Flawed

The Resource Management (Waitaki Catchment) Amendment Bill is a flawed and ad hoc approach towards water allocation, says Tom Lambie, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

Mr Lambie appeared before the Local Government and Environment Select Committee this morning, 27 February, to speak on the Federation’s submission on the bill.

“The bill promotes a central planning approach to water allocation without considering the changing demands for water over time. For example, the proposed Water Allocation Board is required to determine future uses of water as part of the allocation framework, which is nonsense - it is impossible to predict what those future competing uses might be.

“This bill sets important and undesirable precedents for other water catchments and provides significant uncertainty for both current and would-be investors. It fails to recognise existing property rights and will undermine, rather than reinforce incentives to invest in capital intensive uses of water such as irrigation.

“Federated Farmers supports a full analysis of water availability in New Zealand, including the examination of differing allocation mechanisms. We do not support the Resource Management (Waitaki Catchment) Amendment Bill in its current form,” concluded Mr Lambie.

ENDS

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