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Society to decide at the weekend on review

15 March 2006

Society to decide at the weekend on judicial review

The Whangamata Marina Society will decide at a special meeting this Sunday whether to seek a judicial review of the Minister of Conservation’s action in overturning an Environment Court recommendation.

“We have asked our lawyers for urgent advice and are hoping to have that by the end of Friday,” Society President Mick Kelly said today.

Mr Kelly was commenting after a day in Wellington talking to a range of political parties about the Society’s bill to reinstate the Environment Court’s decision and to make the Court the final arbiter for resource consents relating to coastal activities where there is an appeal.

“The talks went well. We received a sympathetic hearing and are confident that our views – and our frustration at the Minister’s actions – are well-understood,” Mr Kelly said.

He repeated his call earlier in the week that people lobby their local MP on the issue, saying it had significance well beyond Whangamata.

“We went through a costly and time-consuming process in the Environment Court to get approval to build the marina only to have the Minister whip the rug from under our feet by intervening to overturn the Court’s ruling.

“That brings the law into disrepute, should never have happened and should not be allowed to happen again.

“It is therefore important that our bill should get a proper hearing in Parliament,” he said.

“But while law reform would provide the most comprehensive solution and would have application New Zealand wide, the Society has other legal options available to it to right this wrong and we are continuing to pursue them,” Mr Kelly said.

ENDS

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