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Government Keeping up the Pressure on Environmental Consents

Government Keeping up the Pressure on Environmental Consents

The government is continuing its pressure on local authorities to give environmental consents to mining and big dairying operations.

Speaking this weekend on TV3’s “The Nation” Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said people couldn’t argue for more jobs in their region on the one hand “but then say but no development, no oil and gas, no intensification of agriculture, none of these other things that would lead to jobs, and that’s the debate we have to have.”

Mr Joyce is citing Taranaki as an example for the rest of the country.

“Because you know there are reasons why regions like Taranaki are successful, and reasons why Northland and Gisborne aren’t, and the Hone Harawiras of the world can't sit up there in Northland and say oh it's terrible that our people are going over to Western Australia, but by the way don’t you mine in Northland.”

Mr Joyce said Environment Minister was working with local authorities to try and achieve some consistency in environmental standards across the country.

And that included learning from Taranaki.

“Because to be fair to those other councils it's new to them, you know Taranaki has had this for 40 to a 100 years.”

And Mr Joyce said Ms Adams was ready to bring a paper to Cabinet outlining how the resource consent process could be speeded up for projects of regional significance.

“We have to overhaul the Act.

“We have to get those processes shortened, and again it's not necessarily about changing the answer, because often the answers come out you know pretty good.”

He said that the process used for the Waterview Connector motorway in Auckland which was “called in” as a nationally significant project and which was consented in under 12 months was an example for regional projects like the Bathurst coal mine at Denniston which is still bogged down in court hearings on its consents.

If you're going to have that sort of investment you have to have a process which allows it to happen.”

ENDS

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