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

 


Forest & Bird to present DOC’s famous lost submission

Sunday 13 October 2013 - Wellington

Forest & Bird media release for immediate use

Forest & Bird to present DOC’s famous lost submission at Ruataniwha hearings 

A 32 page Department of Conservation submission on the environmental impacts of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s planned irrigation dam, which was substituted for a two paragraph submission in unusual circumstances, will be made public after all - but not by the department.

The Hastings-Havelock North branch of Forest & Bird will present DOC’s original submission at the hearings of a Board of Inquiry convened to determine if the Ruataniwha irrigation dam should proceed.

The original submission was famously leaked to the media after DOC produced only a two-paragraph document in its final submission on the dam project, a couple of days after Conservation Minister Nick Smith met with DOC’s deputy director-general Doris Johnston.

Irrigation schemes, mainly for the dairy industry, are a key plank of the government’s economic strategy. The government has committed hundreds of millions of dollars of subsidies to promote their development.

DOC’s submission was obtained by Forest & Bird via the Official Information Act, but only after an unusually long delay. OIA requests are meant to be met within 20 working days. Forest & Bird did not receive DOC’s original submission until the day evidence to the Board of Inquiry was due – last Tuesday, October 8, 36 working days after the request was made.    

Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell says that while it is good news that the Board of Inquiry will get to see what DOC’s scientists think about the scheme, it would be far better if DOC and its experts were going to present the submission themselves.

“Community groups like Forest & Bird don’t have the money to engage expert witnesses in the proceedings of lengthy boards of inquiry. Community groups also aren’t resourced to wade through the mountains of material and briefs of evidence typically produced by applicants, particularly within the ridiculously tight timeframes demanded by boards of inquiry,” says Kevin Hackwell.

“The current government created the legislation that gave rise to these boards of inquiry, which have to make their decision within nine months of being formed. But when it comes to these huge, nationally significant projects, a fast decision is not necessarily a good decision. 

“It appears that when the senior managers of DOC talk about working more with the community, this is what they mean – community groups doing the job they should be doing, and would have been doing, up until recently. We are seeing this situation repeat itself across the country,” Kevin Hackwell says.

“With the key government departments keeping their heads down on the environmental impacts of Ruataniwha, this Board of Inquiry’s ability to do its job has been severely undermined. 

“The public and the Ruataniwha Board of Inquiry have the right to an informed debate on the benefits – and costs – of large scale irrigation projects.   But as things stand, that will be nearly impossible,” Kevin Hackwell says.

The Board of Inquiry’s hearings will be held in November.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Plain Packs Plan: Gordon Campbell On Tobacco Politicking (And The TPP Death Watch)

Has Act leader David Seymour got the easiest job in the world, or what? Roll out of bed, turn on the radio and hmm…there do seem to be a lot of problems out there in the world. Must think of something. And so it came to pass that this morning, David Seymour took up his sword and shield to fight for a world that’s about to be denied the rich and vibrant beauty of tobacco advertising. More>>

ALSO:

.


RECENT TPP MEETING:

Professor Ian Shirley: The Budget That Failed Auckland

The 2016 budget offered Auckland nothing in the way of vision or hope and it continued the National Government’s threats against the Auckland Council. Threatening the Council with over-riding its democratic processes if it fails to release land for housing is a bullying tactic aimed at diverting attention away from the fundamental problems with housing in the region. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post Cab Presser: Budgets, Trusts And Pacific Diplomacy

Today Prime Minister John Key summarised last week’s budget and provided further detail about his upcoming trip to Fiji. He said that there has been “plenty going on” in the last couple of weeks and emphasised the need for Auckland council to facilitate more housing supply. More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke: A Failure Of Measurement: Inside The Budget Lock-Up

Shortly after the embargo lifted at 2pm news organisations started filing reports claiming that health, and to a lesser extent housing and education, were the ‘big winners’ out of the Budget. It failed to take into account the fact that in most cases the apparent increases were in fact cuts. Because of the twin effects of inflation and population. More>>

ALSO:

DOCtored Figures: Minister Clarifies DOC Budget

“Commentators have overlooked the fact $20.7m of that perceived shortfall is new funding for Battle for our Birds 2016, provided for in last week’s Budget...” DOC also has approval in principle to carry over a further $20m to 16/17 due to unexpected delays in a number of projects. More>>

ALSO:

For The Birds: Gordon Campbell On The Budget

Budgies, so their Wikipedia page says, are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, and ability to mimic human speech. Which is a reasonably good description of Finance Minister Bill English eighth Budget. . More>>

Max Rashbrooke On The 2016 Budget

The best label for this year’s announcement by Bill English might be the ‘Bare Minimum Budget’. It does the bare minimum to defuse potential political damage in a range of areas – homelessness and health are prime among them – but almost nothing to address the country’s most deep-rooted, systemic social problems. Indeed the Budget hints that these problems may get worse. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news