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New Minister jumps to conclusions


New Minister jumps to conclusions

Shane Ardern - National Conservation Spokesperson

New Conservation Minister, Chris Carter, should have done some fact-finding on the West Coast before bluntly dismissing plans to build a new Arnold River hydroelectric power scheme, says National’s Conservation spokesperson Shane Ardern. “Chris Carter has simply jumped to conclusions without talking to all the parties involved. The least he could have done was get a first-hand impression of the site.

“The risks of New Zealand facing an energy crisis are very real. The Minister’s decision not to allow the Arnold River project – which would significantly boost power generation on the West Coast where rainfall is reliable – is short-sighted and irresponsible.

“This is a major blow to the Nelson and West Coast regions. It is ironic that this Government talks of regional development on the one hand, but is quick to kill it on the other.

“I urge the Minister to adopt an open mind about the plan and consider options that could make the development viable. I also question where Damien O’Connor, his fellow Cabinet Minister and the MP for West Coast Tasman stands on this decision, said Mr Ardern.

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