Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Greenpeace Alarmed At DOC Withdrawal

Auckland 10 August, 2005

Greenpeace Alarmed At DOC Withdrawal From Marsden B Hearing

Auckland 10 August, 2005 – Greenpeace today said it was alarmed to learn that the Department of Conservation has pulled back from its opposition to Marsden B after meetings were quietly held with Mighty River Power.

According to a statement by the Director-General of Conservation to the Northland Regional Council, DOC "is of the view that any adverse affects on its conservation concerns appear to be minor, subject to stringent resource conditions being imposed as recommended in the staff reports."

The Director General had therefore decided not to address the hearing in support of its submission, he said.

DOC had stated in its original submission that the power station would impact on the recreational use of Bream Bay, may adversely affect the habitat and biodiversity of affected areas, that measures to control leaching of contaminants to groundwater are inadequate, that Mighty River Power had failed to demonstrate that the water discharges will not adversely affect the coastal water and marine ecosystems, and that most of the proposal relies on information that is not currently available.

The submission advocated a precautionary approach and stated that Marsden B should not go ahead. Greenpeace said that DOC's original concerns had been borne out by evidence during the month long hearing, but DOC had not been there to hear it. It chose instead to only listen to Mighty River Power in a private meeting.

"What is of grave concern is that DOC is simply taking Mighty River Power at its word and has consequently withdrawn from the process before taking other evidence into account. It's like to blindly accepting scientific arguments from tobacco companies that cigarettes are good for you," says Greenpeace energy campaigner David Fields.

"By withdrawing from the process, DOC has abdicated its responsibility to advocate for conservation, and has certainly failed the community."

Mighty River Power had stated in the recent hearings that it did not accept the low limits on mercury emissions recommended by the Northland Regional Council. These were significant emissions which would adversely affect the marine ecology of the area, and which could pose a health risk.

"We find it incredible that has DOC declared it would not speak to its submission rather than simply changing it. The department has not taken Mighty River's objections to the proposed conditions into account at all."

The expert evidence brought by Greenpeace to the hearing included evidence by Dr Phyllis Fox, a coal expert from the USA whose work spans 30 years, told the hearing that the building of Marsden B would not be permitted today in countries like the US, Japan or many others such as Germany or Sweden.

Another, Greg Miller of an independent environmental company in Australia, said that the contamination of the marine food web by mercury was likely to significantly increase levels of mercury in certain fish species and consequently health risks to pregnant women.

Council staff themselves had concluded that the discharges would be a very high point source for several potentially toxic metals and dioxins.

"All of the evidence before the hearing points to serious contamination of the local area, and something DOC should be concerned about," said Fields.

The only remaining submission by central government is from the Ministry of Economic Development, which supports the proposal. This submission was specifically requested by the NRC (1) which argued that DOC's opposition would be the only Government response to the proposal.

Greenpeace has written to the Minister of Conservation expressing its concerns.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news