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Whangamata decision right and just - Copeland

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Whangamata decision right and just - Copeland

United Future MP Gordon Copeland today hailed the decision by Environment Minister David Benson-Pope to give the green light to the Whangamata marina.

"It has been a 14 year long battle costing something over 1.3 million dollars for the marina promoters and I am delighted that justice has at long last been served," said Mr Copeland.

"United Future renews its call on the government to amend the Resource Management Act to avoid any repetition of the unfair and unjust outcome which occurred when Minister of Conservation Chris Carter vetoed the decision of the Environment Court. That decision by the Court should have been the final word.

"The provision in the RMA allowing the Minister of Conservation to overrule decisions in relation to coastal activities has long since been rendered unnecessary.

"It may have been useful in the early days of the RMA because the process was untested and Parliament felt that it might be captured by fanatical advocates for or against a particular project. Those days have long since passed. We now have a robust process leading to the Environment Court and its decision should be final.

"In today's circumstances, perseverance with the Ministerial veto is actually a reversion to Muldoonism if not Stalinism and has no place in New Zealand's society."

ENDS

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