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No concerns about Malvern Hills questions

7 November 2007

For immediate release

No concerns about Malvern Hills questions

Commenting on the Malvern Hills Protection Society’s (MHPS) deputation to the Christchurch City Council Meeting, Doug Marsh, chair of Central Plains Water Trust said, “The questions raised this morning by MHPS regarding a loan agreement between Central Plains Water Limited and Dairy Holdings Limited have been raised before. Indeed they have all been considered in detail by three different legal teams, including the Christchurch City Council’s own legal advisors.

“Following this advice, the Christchurch City Council, in its capacity as an existing lender to Central Plains Water Limited, has approved the proposed form of the loan agreement.

“We are becoming concerned by the tactics being used by the MHPS with regard to Central Plains Water. Their threat that if they were not heard by the Council today to hold a media conference should be considered in context with the fact that they have just been ordered to pay CPW costs for what an Environment Court judge called "vexatious and frivolous" behaviour. It appears their approach is to not follow due process but to deliberately waste time.

“We have nothing to hide and want to ensure we deal with the facts. We have organised workshops for the councillors where experts will present information on the impact on aquifers, the sustainability code and economic impacts of the proposed scheme.

“We respect the resource management process and look forward to the detailed and considered examination of the scheme’s impacts and mitigation measures that the consent hearing process which starts on February 19 will allow.”

ENDS

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