Otago Fish and Game support Minister Parker’s directives
Otago Fish and Game support Minister Parker’s directives to the Otago Regional Council
22nd November 2019
The Otago Fish and Game Council supports Environment Minister David Parker’s decision, especially his directive that Mining Rights won't be extended beyond the 2021 deadline provided in the RMA.
Otago Chief Executive Ian Hadland says "It’s clear that the Otago planning framework is not fit for purpose and we’re glad this has now been accepted, acknowledgement is the first step to resolving the situation."
Otago’s water plan was adopted nearly 20 years ago and largely grandfathers water use without proper consideration of the environment or for public good.
Fish and Game agree that the possibility of up to 600 consents being granted under the current inadequate policy framework is very problematic.
"The current framework is the one which has seen Otago’s rivers depleted on a scale rarely seen elsewhere in New Zealand and this cannot continue" says Hadland.
"In the immediate, the ORC must ensure that decisions made under this framework will not be locked in for the long term. We owe that to future generations."
We’re pleased to see the changes that have been occurring at the ORC in the past year or so.
This announcement is another step in the right direction and new ORC Council Chairperson, Ms Hobbs will be well suited to tackling these difficult issues but there is a demanding schedule ahead," says Hadland.
Moving forward, the public in Otago will be best served by clear policy which restores our degraded rivers and protects them for future generations.
This will require bold targets to reduce historic water allocations, which at present can dewater countless rivers and streams many times over.
"We look forward to seeing the ORC’s response in December and hope to work productively with the new Council next year."