13 November 2000 Media Statement
Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, says it's
unfortunate a group of
Hurunui farmers have got to the stage of encouraging direct action over the Resource Management Act.
There is an obvious breakdown in local communication, she said.
The Minister said she recognises that landowners have rights that need to be respected, but people, including most farmers, also care very deeply about protecting the country's biodiversity.
"Sure farmers have rights, but they also have obligations to our environment too," she said.
Although they blame the Resource Management Act, this is really an issue of conflicting values that the local community needs to get to grips with, she added.
Experience from other parts of the country is that sitting down and talking around the table is the best answer.
"I am aware that their Hurunui District Council has been working very successfully with other farmers and landcare groups and I would hope this group would follow that example and do the same," she added.
She said the issues raised by the Hurunui farmers group have been covered by the Ministerial advisory committee on biodiversity on private land and the Government will shortly be considering its report at Cabinet.
"I am confident this report will identify some new ways of addressing these concerns, so that we can all work together to retain New Zealand's unique biodiversity," Marian Hobbs said.