Environment Canterbury welcomes appeal withdrawal
11 September, 2012
Environment Canterbury welcomes Federated Farmers’ appeal withdrawal
Environment Canterbury today welcomed the decision by the Combined Canterbury Provinces of Federated Farmers to withdraw its High Court appeal against decisions on the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement.
Federated Farmers’ main concerns when it lodged its appeal related to vegetation clearance and the ability to maintain farmed areas, particularly in hill and high country.
A series of meetings were held between Environment Canterbury and Federated Farmers representatives from around the region, where these concerns were discussed.
Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury Provincial President Chris Allen says the outcome of those meetings was a better understanding of the effect of the proposed policies.
“While some concerns remain as to what this will mean when it comes to implementation at a district level, we have been given an assurance that Environment Canterbury will work pro-actively with landowners where these concerns arise,” Mr Allen said.
“We have made a decision that is more of a constructive and cost-effective way forward and that the Regional Policy Statement provides enough flexibility to allow farmers to continue to manage indigenous vegetation associated with improved pasture.”
Environment Canterbury Commissioner Peter Skelton says it is important that parties to decisions like this one are able to bring their concerns to the table in all planning processes. “We understand the potential impact that policies can have in rural areas, and we need to be sure that they are sustainable for landowners, tangata whenua and the environment, and consistent with the framework that has been developed for the region,” Professor Skelton said.
District and regional plans will be required to implement the provisions of the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement when it is made operative. Environment Canterbury is continuing discussions with the three other parties which have lodged appeals on certain aspects of the Regional Policy Statement.