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

Another Leader Exiting: Statement From Peter Dunne

I have concluded, based on recent polling, and other soundings I have been taking over the last few weeks, that, the volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter...

“I have therefore decided that it is time for me to stand aside, so the people of Ōhāriu can elect a new electorate MP. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election