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Green Party welcomes PCE call for improved river protection

30 May 2012

Green Party welcomes PCE call for improved river protection

The Green Party welcomes the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s recommendations about the need to improve the protection of our wild and scenic rivers.

“Our rivers have suffered too much from decisions under the Resource Management Act (RMA) which emphasise the ‘use’ and ‘development’ aspect of sustainable management and give limited attention to the ‘protection’ aspect,” said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“The RMA has been too heavily tilted in favour of exploitation for irrigation and hydro development.

“The PCE’s report builds on the recommendations of the NZ Conservation Authority’s report in November last year, which also called for improved protection of wild and scenic rivers.

“The Government has now had two comprehensive reports calling for better protection of remaining wild rivers; it now needs to take action.

“The Mokihinui River is one of our top ten rivers in terms of its values for nature conservation yet the Department of Conservation had to go all the way to the Environment Court to defend it because the river has no legal protection.

“Streamlining and strengthening the process for water conservation orders under the RMA as the PCE recommends, would help safeguard our remaining wild rivers.

“The Government has weakened protection for wild rivers in Canterbury with the ECan Act and indications are that they are seeking to weaken river protection further,” said Ms Sage.

ends

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