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Inappropriate granting of Resource Consents

Inappropriate granting of Resource Consents

In the past week West Coast Regional Council has granted two resource consents non-notified, claiming the effects are minor and there are no circumstances that would warrant public notification.

RC 12051-V2 was granted non-notified 10 days after being received. It removes all restrictions on dropping 1080 into any rivers or lakes within 42,632 hectares of the Mokihinui River catchment. The reason given is that the previous 20 metre buffer zone from waterways would provide an easy route for re-infestation.

RC 2014- 0115 was granted non-notified within 3 weeks of being received. This is a new resource consent for 56,865 hectares in the Roaring Lion, Beautiful, Karamea and Wangapeka Rivers , the majority of which has never been poisoned before.

The urgency is based on a supposed mega-beech mast event, but DoC’s own 2014 beech mast maps show only light to moderate beech mast at most inland sites, and no site specific beech mast data for these valleys has been provided to WCRC.

There is no baseline survey of native birds supposed to be saved by the drop. DoC stated in the application that “there is no specific survey data available for abundance and distribution of most bird species throughout particular areas”. DoC acknowledge that non target poisoning and deaths of native birds will occur.

An analogous action by WCRC would be to grant subdivision consents to individuals, and leaving all decisions as to sites, engineering, earth works, planning etc to the holder of the consent. And we all know that’s never going to happen.

So how can the same Council grant resource consents to poison these vast areas with a sadistically cruel toxin which can kill all air breathing organisms, without so much as a request for further information, and with the audacity to say none of us have a right to be consulted.

Environment Southland and Tasman District Council are amongst others currently processing or granting non-notified consents to DoC. These non-notified consents are issued contrary to the purpose of the Resource Management Act and it is appalling that Nick Smith and the National Govt allow the Department of Conservation to misuse the RMA in this way. The Act should apply equally to all applicants.

The Conservation Estate belongs to all New Zealanders. DoC are supposed to manage it on our behalf. They do not own it.

ENDS

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