September 25, 2013
DOC prevented from conservation role
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says the row over the Department of Conservation’s submission on the central Hawkes Bay water storage project shows DOC has been stripped of its role of protecting the environment.
Conservation Minister Nick Smith stayed away from Parliament yesterday as questions flew, about what influence he had in his department scrapping a 34-page report against the Ruataniwha dam and replacing it with a two-paragraph submission.
Ms Turei says the minister has clearly prevented the department exercising its statutory duty to protect the conservation value of the rivers and the species living in them.
" This Government really doesnt want DOC to be an advocate. They just want DOC to be an adjunct to the tourism industry, to keep the National parks tidy, wear nice uniforms and have lovely visitor centres. And otherwise actually they dont want them to be engaged in any real conservation work and I think this sort of defeats Ruataniwha Dam and is just another example of that " says Metiria Turei
Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated has come out against the Ruataniwha dam, while South Island iwi Ngai Tahu has signed a deal to invest in it if it goes ahead.
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